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University of Arizona enters "Stage 3" of reopening plan

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 09:43:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's a step closer to normalcy for University of Arizona students.

"I think it's pretty cool. Everybody is going to get together again," said UA student, Anthony Vasquez.

On Monday, March 29, the school entered stage three of its four-staged "Return to Classrooms" plan. Classes of up to 100 students can resume in-person instruction. Events with up to 25 people can be held indoors. Events with up to 50 people can be held outdoors.

"All of the universities continue to report that they have no strong evidence of the spread of the disease, in a classroom, provided that everybody continues to wear face masks and stay distanced," said University of Arizona Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Liesl Folks.

Last week, Governor Doug Ducey lifted COVID-19 restrictions across the state, but the UA will continue to require masks and physical distancing on campus.

"If we bring people together in a classroom setting, they are there for 45 minutes or 60 minutes. They are there for a long period of time, sitting next to people. That's not a circumstance where it would be safe to take away your masking yet," said Folks.

The university is also encouraging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. With their own state-run point of distribution (P.O.D.) in the heart of campus, staff said it couldn't be more ideal.

"The governor opening up our P.O.D. to allow people 16 and over to be vaccinated is fabulous for us. It means our students can come get vaccinated, as well as all our faculty and staff," said Folks.

Some students have already booked an appointment for their shot.

"I've been wanting to get the vaccine for a while. It just recently opened up. It's really nice to have a quick and convenient option," said UA student, Evan Laforge.