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UArizona president expects at least 200 positive COVID-19 cases when students return

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TUCSON (KVOA) - On Thursday, UArizona President Dr. Robert Robbins said he thinks more than 200 students will test positive for COVID-19 when students return to campus.

Earlier this week, the university laid out their plans for returning to school safely. But with CDC and now state guidelines not recommending a return to in-person classes right now, the university says they have a plan for how to deal with it.

Over the summer, 7,000 people have been coming to campus and they have not seen any major outbreaks and now they have over 300 ICU beds available for use if it becomes necessary.

"We know that probably 200-250 are going to test positive and we're going to isolate them. They're all asymptomatic and we're gonna take them out of the population," said Robbins.

He added that they have the ability to isolate positive individuals in overflow hotels if necessary and believes they will see cases rise at times but they will work with public health experts to manage it.

The university says as the science evolves plans change and as more information is provided policies are adjusted.

"If we see any indication that warrants concern or a change in our plans we will communicate with our students, faculty and staff as we have done through these briefings," said Robbins.

Every person living in the dorms will be required to have a negative test before moving in and Robbins says they hope to be able to offer tests every two weeks.

"I think that will help us to find those asymptomatic cases and I'm hoping it provides guidance to the team on whether we need to deescalate our activities," said Robbins.

The deadline for students to get their tuition dollars back is September 6, just under two weeks after students will arrive on campus.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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