ASU Shortening Its Fall Semester; Going Virtual After Thanksgiving

By Jill Ryan
Associated Press
Published: Monday, September 21, 2020 - 7:49am

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Mariana Dale/KJZZ
The Arizona State University campus as seen from the Life Sciences E building in Tempe.

Arizona State University announced it will be shortening its fall semester, and all instruction after the Thanksgiving break will be virtual.  

Citing current health circumstances, Provost Mark Searle says the fall semester will end Dec. 4, cancelling the previously scheduled final exams week Dec. 7-12. Those exams will be taken the last day of class by Dec. 4. And now fall commencement will be held virtually.

For the spring semester, Searle says ASU will have courses in a variety of formats depending on location or virus circumstances.

State health officials on Saturday reported 610 additional COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths in Arizona, increasing the statewide totals to 213,551 cases and 5,467 deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by the Associated Press, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arizona rose over the past two weeks, going from 575 new cases on Sept. 4 to 774 on Friday.

Arizona Coronavirus Cases, Deaths

The increase in the average followed the state Department of Health Service's recent changing of its case-counting methodology to adopt an updated national standard that newly includes “probable" results from less-accurate antigen testing.

The counting change resulted in big bulges of additional cases Thursday and Friday as the department updated its records to include over 1,300 probable cases from September and previous months.

Meanwhile, the seven-day rolling average of daily deaths dropped during the past two weeks, going from 32 deaths on Sept. 4 to 23 deaths on Friday.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

→ Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

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