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Live classes canceled: UA asks students to not return after spring break to contain COVID-19

UA students are being asked to not return to campus after spring break, with all courses moving online as officials expand on an earlier decision to limit in-person classes over the coronavirus outbreak.

All in-person classes are being canceled.

"Students should not return to campus, provided they have suitable alternative living arrangements," UA President Robert Robbins said. "These students are welcome to return to campus briefly to collect belongings."

"Students who do not have a suitable alternative should return to campus," he said. "Residence halls, food service, Campus Health, libraries and computer labs are open and will remain open to support you."

"Classes will commence on Wednesday, March 18, fully online," Robbins said Friday afternoon. "Details for each class will be communicated by individual faculty and instructors."

"While the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Tucson remains low and there are no confirmed cases on any domestic University of Arizona campuses, the global and national situation has continued to evolve swiftly," he said.

"No in-person classes will be held," UA spokeswoman Pam Scott confirmed.

The move affects the UA's Tucson and Sierra Vista campuses, and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

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Faculty and staff are being encouraged to work from home but will be permitted to be on campus.

Research operations will continue as usual, Robbins said, and all events and gatherings on campus will be canceled or rescheduled.

Robbins had announced Wednesday night that UA would delay the start of classes after spring break, and move to online courses over concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.

"There is no doubt these policies will disrupt and inconvenience our campus community. However, I strongly believe these short-term disruptions will greatly reduce the risk of significant long-term negative consequences," he said Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a "public health emergency" prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing the state to request federal funds and deal with medical price-gouging.

Nine people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus in Arizona, officials said, with 40 more tests pending Friday morning. Of the 143 people tested in the state, 94 have been ruled out.

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