By ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News
(The University of Arizona has reported at least 2,433 COVID-19 infections among students and staff as of Oct. 20, according to university tracking data.
U of A said it is testing on-campus students every week in order to identify and quarantine asymptomatic cases. While the high number of infections is concerning, the university’s positivity rate for COVID-19 tests is currently 0.07%, well below the 5% threshold recommended by the World Health Organization.
The school also is planning a testing blitz beginning Nov. 9 in order to reduce the risk that students will spread COVID-19 into other communities if they travel during the holidays, President Robert Robbins explained on Monday during a remote briefing he holds weekly for students.
Students also will be asked to fill out a survey detailing their travel plans during Thanksgiving break and are encouraged to finish the semester remotely if they leave the Tucson area for Thanksgiving.
“Our primary goal is to minimize the impact of student travel on community spread of COVID-19,” Robbins said.
There have been more than 233,000 infections and 5,800 deaths in Arizona due to COVID-19, according to the state health department.
According to data from The COVID Tracking Project, new cases, testing positivity rate and COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise in Arizona. Experts consider deaths from COVID-19 to be a lagging indictor of the outbreak’s severity, meaning they trail behind indicators like daily infections and hospitalizations.
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