Vaccines not required, testing optional for University of Arizona students

University makes the announcement Friday
Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to get vaccines and wear masks on campus.
Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to get vaccines and wear masks on campus.(KOLD News 13)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:27 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona will not mandate students to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as they prepare for the fall semester, and the college says testing for the virus will now be voluntary.

The school says it may require students and employees to comply with mandatory COVID-19 testing in the event of a significant outbreak.

According to a letter sent to students, vaccines are strongly encouraged, and the university asks students upload their vaccine documents using the Campus Health system to help administrators track its progress towards immunity.

As of Friday, July 30, more than 15,000 students had already shared their documents.

Masks are also encouraged on campus, according to the school. They are, however, required in certain areas such as:

  • Inside a Cat Tran shuttle or any other public transportation provided by the university.
  • Any building or facility that is operated by or affiliated with the university where patients or human research subjects participating in clinical research are seen in person.
  • In locations where personal protective equipment (including masks) has always been required to maintain safety protocols for situations with high hazards, such as areas where regulated chemicals are used or stored and other laboratory settings.

Campus health is offering the Pfizer vaccine to students and faculty who are eligible for benefits. Testing is also free and available on the main campus.

Administrators say they strongly encourage unvaccinated students to get regularly tested.

Under state law, students may be required to undergo testing or submit proof of vaccination if the student is participating in a clinical setting at an institution licensed under A.R.S., which includes hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities, places for those with intellectual disabilities and group homes, if the institution requires it.

Testing is also mandatory for students who are engaged in research or testing that involves a live COVID-19 virus.

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