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University of Arizona students return to campus for spring semester

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:41 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - University of Arizona students are returning to campus and preparing for in-person learning this week. Leaders are hoping students will stop at a testing site before heading back.

“We highly encourage you to get tested in your hometowns so you can isolate in the comfort of your own homes,” said Holly Jensen, the University of Arizona Vice President of Communications.

As the omicron variant spreads, they’re urging people to test often and be vaccinated to ensure in-person learning can continue safely. The university said there are supplies and staff to run up to 3000 tests a day on-campus.

“We are really concerned Can we continue to shut down every time something like this happens. As we look across the country, I think the thinking is starting to change,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, the former US surgeon general.

Some faculty said in-person learning has its benefits.

“Students need interaction, need inspirations between each other,” said Jennifer Buan, a faculty member at the University of Arizona. “A classroom environment is much better than online.”

She said she feels comfortable being on campus this spring.

“Omicron seems very mild,” she said. “A lot of people get it but get recovered within three to four days like the flu.”

Student, Erick Liu, shared a similar perspective.

“It’s my first time to get a college course in the U.S.” he said. “We finished our freshman year on the internet in China so this is pretty exciting.”

The university is stepping up its mask requirements. All students must wear surgical or higher-grade masks in all indoor spaces on campus. Free masks will be available at the entrances of classrooms and campus buildings.

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