ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona State University students return to campus amid omicron COVID-19 surge

Jan 11, 2022, 4:35 AM
(File Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)...
(File Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)
(File Facebook Photo/Arizona State University)

PHOENIX — Thousands of Arizona State University students returned to campus Monday with new COVID-19 protocols in place as the omicron variant of the virus surges.

“What we said is let’s continue to just move forward, let’s continue to manage this virus the best we can,” ASU President Michael Crow told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Monday.

“We got lots of testing and we are using masks where we need to use masks and it’s thus far working out pretty well.”

Face coverings are now required inside all ASU classrooms, as well as university buildings where physical distancing is not possible. Crow said the university offers higher-grade medical masks for those who want them.

The 78,000 on-campus students prior to returning also had to take a COVID-19 test, which Crow said resulted in many positive cases due to omicron. ASU will provide weekly COVID-19 reports including cases, hospitalizations and vaccination numbers for faculty, staff and students online.

He said students who test positive will go through protocols quickly to get back to the classroom, with Zoom also being an option.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 won’t need a negative test to return, Crow said, as the university is going off more advanced protocols that allow students back if they go five days with no symptoms.

“We are going off the best protocols that we possibly can which allow people to move through this omicron phase more quickly,” Crow said.

Free saliva-based testing is available for all students and to faculty, staff and their family members, Crow said, while vaccines and boosters are also available to students, faculty and staff.

Crow said the university has a very high vaccination rate against the virus among staff and faculty, with modest vaccinations among students.

As for when the COVID-19 protocols, such as masks, may no longer be necessary, Crow said it all depends on community spread of the virus.

“We’ll go off basically the spread number,” Crow said. “So if the spread number goes below a certain threshold and it looks like we are moving into the endemic phase of this thing, then we’ll go back to masks as not required.”

Crow added the university will go day-by-day with protocols and adjust up and down as needed, which he said has allowed most students and graduates to not miss any days in addition to giving people a chance to move forward.

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 Photo/Brophy College Preparatory)...
Associated Press

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix reports widespread cheating

The principal of Brophy College Preparatory says the prestigious private Phoenix high school has learned of “widespread even pervasive” cheating in its all-male student body.
1 day ago
Clouds pass over drought-stricken Lake Mead on May 10, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Ar...
Associated Press

Tucson willing to take 20% less water to help Lake Mead shortage

The Tucson City Council included its potential willingness to take 20% less CAP water to keep more in the reservoir.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo / State Farm Stadium)...
Associated Press

Glendale adopts new short-term rental regulations ahead of Super Bowl

Glendale has preemptively adopted rules regulating short-term rental properties before the city welcomes visitors for the 2023 Super Bowl.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sees significant jobs increase in April, per employment report

The state of Arizona saw a 13,100 jobs increase in the month of April, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority's monthly report.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic offering free dental work to Arizona’s veterans on Saturday

Arizona's veterans can receive free dental cleanings, dentures, fillings, oral surgery and crowns Saturday at Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic.
1 day ago
A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed during ...
KTAR.com

Felon from Arizona convicted of firearm, ammo possession, including ‘ghost gun’

An Arizona felon was found guilty of illegally possessing over 20 firearms, including a “ghost gun,” and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Arizona State University students return to campus amid omicron COVID-19 surge