University Of Arizona Preparing To Bring More Students Back To Campus

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Monday, February 15, 2021 - 3:01pm
Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021 - 3:02pm

University of Arizona campus
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
University of Arizona's campus in 2018.

The University of Arizona is preparing to start more in-person classes next week now that COVID-19 cases are trending downward in Pima County and the state.

The university expects to enter Stage 2 of its re-entry plan next Monday, if public health condition permit. This would mean classes of 50 students or fewer would be able to meet in-person. Students won’t be required to attend classes in-person if they are more comfortable with the online format, said University President Robert Robbins during a Monday press conference.

The university is strongly encouraging professors and instructors who are going to be working in-person to get vaccinate, but the university is not mandating that anyone get vaccinated before they come to campus, Robbins said. 

“We are being very cautious about the total number of people on campus," Robbins said. "Employees who can work remotely are encouraged to continue this practice and just stay at home.”

In addition, this week, the university will start to enforce its weekly COVID testing requirement for students, restricting access to campus Wi-Fi for those who don’t get tested. Students can get their Wi-Fi access restored one hour after registering for a test, Robbins said. He also emphasized that students who test positive won't have their Wi-Fi access revoked. 

Currently, COVID-19 cases are low among university community members, according to the university's COVID-19 data, but large gatherings continue to be a problem. 

The university was recently made aware of a 200-person Super Bowl party that took place at one of the high-rise buildings where students live. Police were called in, but the party was later moved to another high-rise building, Robbin said. 

“The good news about this is I think our partners in the high-rises are taking this seriously," he said. "My understanding is there have been several evictions and that the students have been reported to the Dean of Students for code of conduct violations.”

The university is not sure yet if any COVID-19 cases have been connected to that Super Bowl party.

→ Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

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