University of Arizona officials sticking with in-person classes

A sculpture outside of the University of Arizona’s Main Library is donned with a face mask. /AZPM Staff

University testing shows a COVID positivity rate of close to 11%.

By Christopher Conover | Arizona Public Media

University of Arizona officials have no plans to move to online-only classes even though COVID-19 cases are hovering at near-record levels.

University President Robert Robbins, MD said despite the high numbers the university and state are in better shape than a year ago due to the availability of vaccines.

“That gives me some comfort in that we brought people back to campus and will continue to power through this because I think it’s going to go away pretty quickly,” Robbins said.

The university’s COVID data on Monday show that on-campus testing indicates a 10-day average positivity rate of 10.9%. When those numbers are broken down, the positivity rate for faculty and staff is 6.4% and 13.5% for students.

The rising number of COVID cases on campus has forced some classes that were supposed to be taught in-person to change. Robbins said he understand how difficult that is on both faculty and students.

“It’s a little easier to do either all in person or all remote but this hybrid approach is very difficult. You’ve all been in meetings where there are people who are in person and then there are people who are on the Zoom screen and it’s not as easy to do,” said Robbins.

According to university data, the current surge in cases has not reached the highest levels seen a year ago.

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