UArizona raises in-person class cap amid concerns about COVID variant

Mar 30, 2021, 10:08 AM | Updated: 10:23 am
(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)...
(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)
(Twitter Photo/@uarizona)

PHOENIX – Amid concerns about a more transmissible COVID-19 variant reaching the Tucson campus, the University of Arizona welcomed more students for in-person classes on Monday.

The university moved into Stage 3 of its COVID-19 plan, meaning classes of up to 100 students can meet in person.

The school had been in Stage 2, with in-person classes capped at 50 students, since Feb. 22. The decision to move into Stage 3 was announced two weeks ago.

Event limits — 25 people for indoor and 50 for outdoor — are the same for Stages 2 and 3.

UArizona President Robert C. Robbins emphasized the importance of vaccines, regular testing and contact tracing after the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, was detected last week.

“Those variants that are more transmissible are more likely to become prevalent in our communities, but the vaccines do work,” he said during Monday’s weekly press briefing.

“The sooner we can all be vaccinated, the better.”

The COVID-19 mass vaccination site located at the Tucson campus and operated by the Arizona Department of Health Services surpassed 100,000 doses administered over the weekend.

“The volunteers, the faculty, the staff, the students at the University of Arizona have come together in an incredible show of collaboration [and] cooperation in fulfilling our land-grant mission to administer 102,000 doses of this vaccine,” Robbins said.

“That is truly remarkable, and I will always remember this and be eternally grateful.”

Students who come to campus and aren’t fully vaccinated (at least two weeks removed from their completed series) are subject to weekly testing.

“Please, if you’re among the groups that are required to test weekly, keep your appointments,” Robbins said. “If we do not know of new cases on campus, we can’t isolate them. … This will make it more difficult to continue in Stage 3.”

Earlier this month, the university said it aims to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May and then offer most classes fully in person when the fall semester starts in August.

While there won’t be a university-wide graduation ceremony like in years past, the school is looking at a series of smaller events tentatively scheduled for May 11-18 at Arizona Stadium.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photos/ Senator Mark Kelly, Blake Masters for Senate and...

Watch: Arizona US Senate candidates Kelly, Masters, Victor share debate stage

With the start of early voting a week away, Arizona’s three U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to share the stage Thursday in a live debate.
16 hours ago
Bryant James Walker (Chandler Police Department Photo)...

Stalking, public indecency suspect arrested by Chandler police

Police in Chandler said Thursday they arrested a Mesa man suspected of public indecency and felony stalking.
16 hours ago
(Abrazo Health Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Abrazo West Campus acquires Arizona’s 1st Loop-X robot to assist spine surgeries

Abrazo West Campus in Goodyear is adding the new Loop-X robot to assist doctors in spine surgery operating rooms.
16 hours ago
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, speaks during a Democratic Par...
Kevin Stone

Here’s what Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs says about Arizona abortion laws

Katie Hobbs, the Democratic nominee for Arizona governor, said the state’s near-total abortion ban goes against the will of the people and she’d work to change it if elected.
16 hours ago
Murad Dervish (University of Arizona Police Department Photo)...

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of professor at University of Arizona

A University of Arizona professor was fatally shot at the Tucson campus Wednesday, and police said a former student was taken into custody.
16 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Woman dies after vehicle runs into concrete barrier on Phoenix freeway ramp

A woman was killed early Thursday when her vehicle hit a concrete barrier on a Phoenix freeway ramp, authorities said.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
UArizona raises in-person class cap amid concerns about COVID variant