In an effort to curb the rise in coronavirus positive test results on campus, the University of Arizona is asking students living on or around the Tucson campus to voluntarily quarantine for the next two weeks.
“The Pima County Health Department, in concert with the University of Arizona, is recommending a 14-day shelter-in-place for students living both on and near campus, and particularly those in congregate settings such as high-rises, mini-dorms, apartments with more than 10 students and our Panhellenic houses,” UArizona President Robert Robbins said during Monday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.
The announcement came after 8.8% of COVID-19 diagnostic tests came back positive in Friday’s results report.
Robbins said officials want to see a positive rate of under 5%.
At the time, this is a recommendation, it is not mandatory. Robbins said the recommendation includes exemptions for students going to work or attending classes that include in-person instruction. Robbins also said it’s alright to go out for essential needs such as food supplies and medical care, although delivery service is preferred if available.
“At this point we are being very cautious about our ability to manage the caseload while providing ample on- and off-campus testing options,” Robbins said.
UArizona started the fall semester Aug. 24 with on-campus instruction limited to classes such as research labs, medical courses, and fine arts and performing arts studios. All other classes are online.
In July, when the university announced their reopening plan, it included a phased-in increase of on-campus instruction after the first two weeks of classes. However, university officials have decided to keep the campus at the initial levels based on testing data and the advice of health experts.