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UArizona moving classes online after Thanksgiving, planning for spring

(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

PHOENIX – The University of Arizona is winding down in-person classes for the fall semester and making plans for the spring.

School officials said Monday that all students who plan to take classes in person next semester must first get tested for COVDID-19.

The Tucson university recently announced that the final eight days of instruction and all final exams and assessments will be completed remotely following the Nov. 26-29 Thanksgiving break.

Students in housing on or around campus are being encouraged to travel home for the break and stay there to finish the semester virtually.

Anybody who plans to travel and then return to Tucson housing to finish their online coursework needs to take a COVID-19 rapid antigen diagnostic test at least 10 days before leaving town.

Those students must then take a test when they return and follow a stay-at-home protocol for 10 days if negative. A 10-day isolation protocol is required following a positive test.

Similar testing plans are in place for travel during the winter session/break and the start of the spring semester.

During Monday’s weekly COVID-19 press conference, President Robert Robbins said on-campus learning will begin in January with classes sizes capped at 50 students if conditions allow – remaining in stage two of the school’s reopening plan.

He said there was little chance the school would open beyond that point anytime soon.

“If conditions permit to move to stage three later in the term, it would include classes with classroom capacities with up to 100 people,” Robbins said. “But as I see things right now, with increasing cases, I think that it’s a remote possibility.

“Especially since we are anticipating that in January and the winter months across the country, we’re going to see an increase in the number of cases.”

While the state has been seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, the Tucson school is seeing relatively few positive tests.

Only .9% of UArizona tests reported over the last 10 days were positive, far below last week’s statewide rate of 9% as reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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