The University of Arizona is switching to online classes on Wednesday, March 18, due to coronavirus concerns, according to a prepared statement sent out Wednesday evening by UA President Robert C. Robbins.
"The University of Arizona’s top priority is the health and safety of our students, our employees and our community. At this time, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Tucson is low, and there are no confirmed cases on any domestic University of Arizona campus," Robbins said. "Nonetheless, like all U.S. universities, the University of Arizona is rapidly ramping up Coronavirus mitigation efforts to keep our community as safe as possible. Accordingly, we are delaying the start of classes to Wednesday, March 18, and moving from in-person instruction to online instruction wherever possible."
U of A students are currently on spring break and were expected to return to classes next Monday. However, the university is delaying the semester's return until next Wednesday to prepare for the move to online classes from in-person instruction classes, according to a letter to students from Liesl Folks, UA SVP for Academic Affairs.
"There is no doubt these policies will disrupt and inconvenience our campus community," Robbins said in the release. "However, I strongly believe these short-term disruptions will greatly reduce the risk of significant long-term negative consequences."
Online classes are expected be in effect until April 6, when UA officials will "assess it's operational status," as reported by the Arizona Daily Star.