TUCSON, Ariz. - COVID cases are still high around the University of Arizona but UArizona says numbers are trending down and students seem to be getting the message that the school is cracking down on large gatherings that could spread the virus.
The University President says in-person classes do little to raise the risk.
University of Arizona President Doctor Robert Robbins says he still sees a distressing number of students moving around without masks. He thinks safety precautions in classes and labs make the risk of transmission in class almost zero and that social situations are the real risk.
Doctor Robbins says Tucson Police and University efforts to discourage large off-campus parties seem to be helping. He refers to Red Tags----those are warnings and fines Tucson Police slap on a house that’s had parties that amount to a public nuisance.
He says, “The CART team responded to a total of 13 properties, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for fewer than the previous week. The team issued three University related red tags with 10 citations and 13 Code of Conduct referrals to the Dean of Students. This is compared with 10 red tags, 19 citations and 25 Code of Conduct referrals last weekend.”
Doctor Robbins says some of those conduct referrals have led to suspensions and expulsions. The University says COVID related conduct violations have 27 students under interim suspension or interim expulsion orders. They do have the right to appeal.
With Pac-12 sports resuming, and night spots reopening in Tucson’s downtown, he’s worried even with no fans in the stadium, that will bring on more gatherings where people will spread the virus.
“Getting people in close corners watching a game. Drinking, you lose your inhibitions, you forget to follow the rules and you're screaming and you're spewing, you know, COVID spittle into other people's environment, they breathe it in and they get infected.”
He says he hopes bars and restaurants will be careful to enforce COVID precautions.