UA College of Medicine-Phoenix Students Possibly Exposed To COVID-19

Published: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 3:04pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 3:35pm

The University of Arizona’s College of Medicine in Phoenix has informed students and staff they may have been exposed to COVID-19 during an orientation event last week. In a Monday email, the college said a vaccinated individual became symptomatic during new student orientation last week and later tested positive for COVID.

The college is unsure how many students and staff are impacted, but advises them to assume they were exposed. The college also sent recommendations of self-isolation and quarantine for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Protecting the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, colleagues and community is our top priority," the college said in a statement to KJZZ. "We will continue to monitor the situation."

Under an executive order by Gov. Doug Ducey, the college can’t require COVID mitigation strategies such as vaccination, testing or mask wearing. Lawmakers also included these policies into the state budget that they passed last month. 

These actions are foolish, said Will Humble, the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

“He (Ducey) signed those bills a couple of weeks ago. We’ve already now seen a situation in which a university has known exposures on campus that they can’t do anything about, because the governor and (Arizona Department of Health Services) Director Christ have tied their hands," Humble said. 

Humble sees this incident as a sign of challenges to come for public universities and colleges this upcoming fall semester.

KJZZ has reached out to the Governor's Office for comment but has not received a response. 

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