University status update: Phase 2 starting this week, May Commencement plans announced


Screenshot of the virtual university status update team, who met to discuss May commencement plans and Phase 2 Monday, March 8.

On the one-year anniversary of the transition to virtual learning, the University of Arizona’s COVID-19 virtual university status update team met to discuss new COVID-19 data and goals for the end of the semester and beyond.

UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins reminded viewers that the university will begin Phase 2 this week. Classes of 50 or fewer students designated as "in-person" or "flex in-person" are permitted to meet for in-person instruction.


Screenshot of the University of Arizona's recent vaccine distribution data, from the March 8 virtual university status update meeting. 


By the end of Monday, the UA will have vaccinated 50,000 people. To help meet increasing demand, the VUSU team is looking for qualified medical professionals to help administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“It is important to note that we are currently looking for qualified medical professionals to administer vaccines,” said Holly Jensen, vice president of university communications. “We are also looking for some pharmacists and nursing staff to staff our [Point of Distribution] here at the University of Arizona. If you are qualified and interested, we have positions posted through the talent portion of our HR website.”

Robbins announced that the UA plans to hold 2021 Commencement ceremonies in person for students.

“Provost Folks and I are very pleased to announce that the University of Arizona will celebrate the class of 2021 with a series of in-person ceremonies tentatively scheduled from Tuesday, May 11, to Tuesday, May 18,” Robbins said. “We are going to have many different smaller venues in order to be safe. As currently envisioned, the in-person component of the ceremonies will be for students only. Discussions are ongoing, and we will update plans as are appropriate.”

Robbins also mentioned that the university is also looking to do something in person to celebrate the class of 2020, which had a virtual Commencement last year.

VUSU march 8 covid-19 test results

Screenshot of recent COVID-19 testing results from the March 8 virtual university status update press conference. 

From Feb. 25 to March 6, the UA administered 15,325 COVID-19 tests, which resulted in 34 positives — a positivity rate of 0.2%. The COVID-19 rate of transmission (Rt) last week was 0.61 in the university zip code area, down from 0.72 the previous week.

VUSU CART deployment

Screenshot of CART deployments from the March 8 virtual university status update meeting Monday, March 8. CART deployments increased slightly since the previous week.

The Campus Area Response Team was deployed to 11 incidents of large gatherings not in agreement with public health guidelines. Two of these incidents were gatherings of 100 or more individuals.

To watch this week's VUSU livestream, visit the UA's YouTube page

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