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Emergency Preparedness

More Than Half of U Arizona's Fall Classes Will Have an In-Person Component

When the University of Arizona's fall semester begins on Aug. 24, instruction will be a mix of in-person and remote learning — with more than half of all classes including an in-person component. The institution is relying on increased cleaning and sanitation, reduced class sizes, mandated face coverings and broadly available testing to proceed with its fall reopening plan, according to a recent statement from President Robert C. Robbins.

"There are no risk-free options in the return to our campus," he acknowledged, emphasizing that the university's reopening plan is informed by international and national experts, including former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, a professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and director of the Campus Reentry Task Force. "Our faculty and staff remain our greatest asset, in addition to our students, and I am confident that our broad capabilities, contributions and resilience will enable us to weather this period and emerge even stronger than we are today," Robbins said.

Classes will be available in four formats: in-person; flex in-person (a mix of in-person and online elements); live online (synchronous remote learning); and iCourses (asynchronous online courses that can be completed independently via the university's D2L learning management system). Decisions on which courses would have an in-person component were made by faculty in conjunction with their department heads, chairs or directors; students are encouraged to choose courses in the format that best meets their personal and health needs.

A critical part of the reopening plan is the university's "Test, Trace and Treat" strategy, which includes diagnostic and antibody testing for students, faculty and staff, contact tracing, a mobile app that notifies campus community members of potential COVID-19 exposures, on-campus medical care and more. In addition, face coverings will be required in all campus buildings and in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.

Campus leaders will continue to monitor public health conditions on and off campus and make adjustments to the reentry plan as necessary, Robbins said. For more information, visit the university's COVID-19 website.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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