Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The University of Arizona administration took a stern tone during their Sept. 9 press conference as they indicated consequential action will be taken against students who refuse to follow the university’s rules to prevent disease transmission.
When UA began the fall semester on Aug. 24, they established a public health campaign, free COVID-19 tests, antibody tests, personal protective equipment and other infrastructure to prevent an outbreak on campus. But the administration has found that when students go off-campus, they aren’t following the rules and new COVID-19 positive cases have surfaced.
In sorority and fraternity houses, UA President Dr. Robert Robbins reported high positive percentages among residents: 10 positives of 21 residents in one house, 19 of 30 in another, and 15 of 35 in another.
Because of this transmission, Robbins said it is likely that some Greek life residents will be put on quarantine. Pima County Public Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen added that during the state’s shelter-in-place order, the positive percentage of COVID-19 tests was around 10 percent.
“When Dr. Robbins shares these percentages, they translate into positivity rates that are far beyond 10 percent,” Cullen said.
She noted that the university is quickly getting into a situation where “we will have to take an aggressive stance.” Any Greek house quarantines would be supervised and supported by the county health department.
Robbins said the university has provided support to off-campus housing management companies and the Greek community to increase awareness of COVID-19 and the proper preventative measures.
About 90 dorm students are currently in isolation units on-campus after testing positive for COVID-19. The administration’s stance is if students refuse to follow social distancing and mask rules, there will be restrictions of activity.