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UArizona to keep Tumamoc Hill open

Posted at 9:20 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 12:22:22-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona will keep Tumamoc Hill open because it has seen "a marked increase in the number of walkers wearing masks."

In July, UA officials warned that they may shut the hill down if hikers didn't start wearing masks more often. Following a two-week observation period, the UA decided to keep it open.

The UA, which manages the hill, shut it down from March 18 to May 25 due to the pandemic. As many as 1,000 people walk the hill every day.

Since July 24, the percentage of morning walkers wearing masks rose from about 23 percent to nearly 70 percent.

Hikers in the evening are wearing masks at a lower rate than morning walkers, said Benjamin Wilder, director of Tumamoc Hill.

"Thus far, this is an impressive result that inspires a lot of hope in our ability to adapt to these times," Walker said in a statement. "Thank you to everyone that has shifted your behavior. But this continues to be an uphill climb, and we need everyone doing their part."