ARIZONA NEWS

UArizona asking students to finish semester remotely after Thanksgiving

Oct 12, 2020, 2:15 PM | Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 10:15 am

PHOENIX — University of Arizona officials are encouraging students to travel away from campus for Thanksgiving and finish the fall semester remotely.

UArizona said Monday in its weekly coronavirus update that it would be providing on-campus students three travel options for the holiday, with the remote option being the one recommended by the university.

Students will also be able to choose to travel away from campus and return after the holiday or to stay on campus during Thanksgiving.

“If you plan to travel, OK go do that, but we will see you in January,” University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said Monday during a press conference.

Robbins said the university designed its semester, scheduled to end Dec. 17, to allow students to finish it remotely.

The fear, according to Robbins, is that students will have high COVID-19 exposure potential by traveling through busy airports and attending large gatherings while away from campus.

Robbins said he wants to limit the possibility of students bringing back the virus after the holiday.

The university began offering in-person instruction for classes of 30 or fewer students on Monday, bringing 1,500 new students to campus each week.

“You could see a huge outbreak,” Robbins said.

UArizona has stabilized its coronavirus numbers in recent weeks after restrictions were recommended following a high rate of infection.

The positivity rate for the 6,963 tests conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 10 was 0.6%.

University officials and Pima County health experts recommended a 14-day self-quarantine for students living on or near campus on Sept. 14 because of a rise in COVID-19 test results.

In the update prior to the shelter-in-place request, the positivity rate was 8.8%.

The request was lifted Sept. 29.

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UArizona asking students to finish semester remotely after Thanksgiving