University of Arizona plans reopening for upcoming school year

Surgeon General Carmona appointed to lead UA reentry plan

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona announced it’s using its own teams of experts from various colleges to analyze the data which will help guide university President Robert Robbins to make a final decision on what reopening the campus might look like.

"Putting together diverse resources, sometimes they don't speak the same language, but yet it's like a symphony when it comes together and you execute very efficiently," said Dr. Richard Carmona who is leading the return-to-campus task force.

Carmona was the 17th surgeon general and has been a faculty member at the university for more than 30 years. He said a multidisciplinary team of experts including, epidemiologists, doctors, student health, economists and others will help provide data to the University’s president and senior staff. The data will help lead the university to if or how it will reopen.

"Come up with some reasonable policy that I can then give to the president so he can make the best decision for the students, families and faculty," Carmona said.

Reopening options include no face-to-face classes or a combination of socially distanced classes and online courses. Carmona said they’re looking at using student emergency medical service teams to lead and educate other students about health and COVID-19 safety.

"We are very cognizant of the fact that we can not make it completely safe," Robbins said.

University officials say they are doing everything they can to drive down the risk of the virus being transmitted on campus but stopping it completely isn’t possible.

"Are they willing to take the risk of getting this infection by coming back to campus?" Robbins said.

The university will hold weekly briefings on its plans to reopen campus in the fall.

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