The president of the University of Arizona is still pushing COVID-19 precautions, despite the fact that even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has significantly reduced its COVID-19 guidelines.
“The pandemic is not over … though our situation is much improved over the start of last academic year,” University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said in an interview with the school newspaper. “While transmission of COVID-19 remains persistent around the nation, we have successfully navigated the past two years with continued innovation, support and cooperation from students, faculty and staff. We have the tools to continue our success and we know how to use them.”
According to that interview, Robbins says students should take a COVID-19 test upon returning to school, despite the fact that the CDC says testing is no longer required for asymptomatic Americans.
“Robbins said students and employees returning to campus are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test through the university’s Cats TakeAway Testing program,” according to the story. “Test kits are available at several locations across main campus and at other sites. Pre-registration is required before picking up a test.”
Robbins says students should take the vaccine, but that it is optional. So is mask-wearing on campus.
“Given the varying levels of personal risk from COVID-19, I encourage members of the university community to have compassion for one another and be respectful of each other’s personal choice about mask usage,” Robbins reportedly said.
The University of Arizona did not immediately return a comment request.
The CDC’s updated guidelines are far more relaxed than prior versions.
The new guidance eliminates quarantining even if a person was knowingly exposed to COVID-19, and instead calls for wearing a mask and taking a test five days after exposure.
The quarantine period for those who test positive for the virus has been reduced to five days, as opposed to the previously mandated 10 days. Social distancing guidelines have also essentially been nixed, with the CDC saying instead to use caution in interacting with others based on community transmission levels.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Robert Robbins” by University of Arizona. Background Photo “COVID-19 Vaccine” by Governor Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.