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UArizona asks students living on campus to self-quarantine for 2 weeks

(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

PHOENIX – The University of Arizona is asking students living on or around the Tucson campus to voluntarily quarantine for the next two weeks because of a rise in coronavirus positive test results.

“The Pima County Health Department, in concert with the University of Arizona, is recommending a 14-day shelter-in-place for students living both on and near campus, and particularly those in congregate settings such as high-rises, mini-dorms, apartments with more than 10 students and our Panhellenic houses,” UArizona President Robert Robbins said during Monday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.

Robbins said the recommendation includes exemptions for students going to work or attending classes that include in-person instruction.

He said it’s OK to go out for essential needs such as food and medical care and supplies, too, although delivery service is preferred when available.

The announcement came after 8.8% of COVID-19 diagnostic tests came back positive in Friday’s results report.

Robbins said officials want to see a positive rate of under 5%.

Friday’s update showed 133 positives out of 1,512 new tests. That increased the school’s totals since July 31 to 1,148 positives from 242,747 tests, a positive rate of 4.7%.

“At this point we are being very cautious about our ability to manage the caseload while providing ample on- and off-campus testing options,” Robbins said.

UArizona started the fall semester Aug. 24 with on-campus instruction limited to classes such as research labs, medical courses, and fine arts and performing arts studios. All other classes were online only.

When the reopening plan was announced in July, it included a phased-in increase of on-campus instruction after each of the first two weeks of classes. However, university officials have decided to keep the campus at the initial levels based on testing data and the advice of health experts.

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