University of Arizona to offer more in-person classes as new COVID-19 cases decline

University of Arizona to offer more in-person classes as new COVID-19 cases decline
The University of Arizona near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Sixth Street in Tucson, Ariz. (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After a two-week, voluntary shelter-in-place order expired last month and as the University of Arizona sees fewer cases per day compared to earlier in the school year, university leaders said they will begin to offer more in-person classes in the coming days.

In a virtual meeting with other school leaders on Monday, Oct. 5, UA President Dr. Robert Robbins said the school plans to move forward with its phase two reopening plan come Monday, Oct. 12. During this phase, classes with 30 or fewer students can return to the classroom, joining essential courses like labs.

Students who wish to continue with a hybrid of online and in-person classes and continue to do so.

“As we discussed last week, the university’s measures in place to reduce transmission of coronavirus are working, and our partnerships with Pima County and the city of Tucson have had a positive impact in the near-campus neighborhoods,” Robbins said.

To date, 2,367 students, staff and other people associated with the university have tested positive for COVID-19 since the UA began widespread testing just before the beginning of the school year in early August. With 41,629 total tests, 5.7 percent are coming back positive.

The university saw a spike in cases in mid-September, when the university saw hundreds of new cases over a couple of weeks, at one point bringing the positivity rate above 17 percent. That was shortly before the school paused many in-person classes and implemented the voluntary shelter-in-place order.

As of Friday, Oct. 2, 68 dorm students were in isolation housing, with 450 beds available. Another 58 dorm residents were isolating off-campus, Robbins said.

To watch the update from university officials, click here.

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