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UArizona president optimistic about reopening campus for fall semester

(University of Arizona Photo)

PHOENIX — University of Arizona President Robert Robbins on Tuesday described the approach he believes will allow the campus to reopen — at least partially — in the fall.

“I think that it’ll be a combination of face-to-face classes and continuing what we’re doing today, which is a remote distance learning online mode,” Robbins told CNN.

UA began developing its own testing kits in mid March and is planning to be able to test everyone on campus.

“We began developing this ELISA antibody test that we’re going to offer to all 60,000 of our university community — all of our faculty, staff and students,” Robbins said.

“We’re excited about having our students come back to campus.”

He believes that testing and strategic isolation will enable students to return to dorm life, but added that mitigating precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19 will remain in effect until a vaccine is developed.

Robbins said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey contacted UA once he learned of the institution’s in-house testing capabilities, asking if the university would be willing to expand testing for the state’s medical workers and first responders.

UA’s expanded testing will begin Wednesdaay, according to Robbins.

UA transitioned to online-only classes on March 18.

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