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UA worried about increases in COVID-19 cases nationally, preparing for virus testing blitz
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UA worried about increases in COVID-19 cases nationally, preparing for virus testing blitz

Even with precautions in place, campus officials at the University of Arizona said they are anticipating an increase in virus cases following the holidays and winter break.

University of Arizona officials are concerned after seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases nationally and locally just before the holidays.

UA administrators are urging students to participate in a testing blitz between Nov. 9-15 to prevent the spread of the virus if they plan to travel home or meet with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Students will be required to complete a survey outlining their travel plans before Thanksgiving to determine how many students will complete the semester online away from campus, how many plan to return to campus after traveling and how many students don’t plan to travel for Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving, all classes will be fully online through the end of the semester, the UA said.

Seven gatherings of more than 100 people were reported to the campus area response team last week, six more than the previous week, the university said.

The university reported a 1.1% positivity rate from Oct. 23 to Nov. 1, with 79 positive cases out of 7,122 tests.

On Nov. 1, the university reported five positive cases out of 132 tests, a 3.8% positivity rate.

UA President Robert C. Robbins said the university plans to start the spring semester where it left off in November, unless COVID-19 cases in the area rise. Robbins is also working on a plan to make testing mandatory for everyone returning to campus in the spring, not just students who live on campus.

Dr. Richard Carmona, campus reentry task force director, said the university may also move to online-only classes in the spring if the increase in cases continues nationally and locally.

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