TUCSON, AZ — The University of Arizona is asking students to quarantine for 14 days — with some exceptions — following a coronavirus outbreak at several off-campus apartment buildings.
Exceptions to the two-week quarantine include attending in-person classes, going to work, getting supplies or medical treatment.
“Pima County Health Department in concert with the University of Arizona is recommending a 14-day shelter-in-place for students living on or near campus and particularly those living in congregate settings such as high rises, mini dorms, apartments with more than 10 students and our Panhellenic houses,” UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said at a press conference Monday.
At the Hub at Tucson, a high-rise west of campus, 45 cases have been confirmed so far. About 490 students live there in close quarters.
A spokesperson for the university told Patch that the Pima County Health Department is responsible for the quarantine of off-campus students and would be releasing shelter-in-place orders soon once they determine "language and logistics." A spokesperson for the health department did not return requests for comment.
UA has reported 1,148 positive cases to date, including 133 on Friday.
In a public letter written Monday, Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik, who represents Ward 6, has helped coordinate testing in the area and said he had observed students with a "false sense of security."
"While on site doing the testing, we observed residents pack into Uber cars, heading out for the evening," he wrote. "Pizza deliveries were common. Community spread is clearly tied to the conditions within not only Hub Tucson, but other high rises in that area."
Kozachik called on the university and off-campus apartments, as well as the county, to do their part to slow the spread of the virus and keep the community safe.
"The wonderful and diverse neighborhoods surrounding campus would prefer to see all parties involved work collaboratively to control and contain this outbreak before residents of the towers become active in the broader community," he wrote.