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Former Surgeon General appointed to lead UArizona re-entry task force

University of Arizona 1
Posted at 9:18 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 00:18:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A man who used to lead the entire country's approach to health, will now do the same for the University of Arizona.

President Robert Robbins has appointed former Surgeon General Richard Carmona to lead the University's re-entry task force.

While this is a time of uncertainty, University of Arizona’s President said the ‘3-T’ approach-- testing, tracing, and treating, is the best bet to help maximize safety on campus.

Dr. Richard Carmona said he is committed to ensuring the safety of students and staff through this task.

“You want me to drive this as hard as I can and have the university ready to open, but we’re not going to open unless it’s safe,” said Dr. Carmona.

Robbins said the mission is to help minimize contagion through a well planned Incident Command System

“That’s the point of this process of the next 90 days is to deliberate, look at data, let the science guide us and then make a final decision of which set of choices we’re going to make,” added Robbins.

In terms of going full in-person instruction, Robbins said that is not likely.

“I think it’s going to be some sort of hybrid approach."

Robbins said some classes will be in person, where students and staff follow social distancing protocol. Others will be online.

“We’re going to be in this mode for at least this entire academic year."

A new norm, he believes, will drop online tuition.

“Because there’s going to be so many more people going into an online, remote mode,” he added.

As far as dorm life goes, Dr. Carmona and President Robbins say it’s going to be an adjustment.

“There will be masks certainly in the dorm. There’s going to have to be appropriate spacing. There’s going to be a lot of hand washing,” said Dr. Carmona.

Robbins said there will likely be one or two people per dorm room.

Certainly changes that are going to take time getting used to.

“But I think the good news is, if we can provide a safe haven, or a safe as possible...the students really do want to come back and be a part of the wildcat campus,” said Dr. Carmona.

In-person instruction is set to resume August 24th.