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UArizona plans to resume smaller in-person classes next week

Posted at 10:18 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 21:44:21-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona is planning to resume more classes in-person next week.

Starting Monday, Oct. 12, UArizona President Dr. Robert Robbins says the university is planning to resume in-person courses for classes of 30 students or fewer. Robbins said the university would only go through with the change if the public health metrics continue their positive trend.

Robbins made the announcement Monday at the university's weekly re-entry news conference via Zoom.

So far, the university is only allowing in-person classes for the courses it has deemed "essential," such as performing arts and lab courses. This week, Robbins says about 6,200 students are taking part in these essential courses on the university's Tucson campus.

The additional classes next week would add about 2,500 students to attending in-person classes, Robbins said.

Robbins explained he learned from this semester and thinks that more testing will be required when students return for their second semester in January.

In August, only students living on campus were tested, while those living in Greek Life houses and off-campus were not required to be tested.

“I’m hoping there’s going to be a test that will be fast enough and inexpensive enough that we can test everybody, every day. That’s what we need,” said Robbins.

Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik said the responsible thing to do for the remainder of this semester is to have all students tested so two things are achieved.

"Number one, so we know who is positive and we can do the contact tracing and we can stop this spread into the surrounding community around campus. Number two, before they go home for the holidays-- we know we aren’t putting sick kids on planes,” he said.

President Robbins reiterated the message that parties need to stop. Just this weekend, the campus area response team responded to one dozen parties.

“We’ve got to stop this and the numbers have down but this is the single largest site for transmitting this deadly virus,” said Robbins.

Although Dr. Robbins said most parties did not involve students, one party involved 100 people, and another involved 50 at an apartment complex on Park Avenue.