The University of Arizona’s COVID-19 virtual university status update team met on Monday, April 19, to discuss falling vaccine demand, the UA’s antibody testing initiative and new COVID-19 data.
The UA will remain in Phase 3 of reentry both this week and the next. Classes of 100 or fewer students designated as "in-person" or "flex in-person" may begin meeting for in-person instruction.
The university Point Of Distribution has now administered a grand total of 175,548 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those vaccinated at the UA POD, 26.3% self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx.
The UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins noted that the POD recently saw a dip in vaccination appointments.
“At the university POD early last week, we saw an alarming decline in the number of people wanting vaccine appointments at our POD,” Robbins said. “That number returned back to nearly 3,500 appointments daily over the course of the week, and we believe there is a falling demand overall, so we need to get the message out to get people vaccinated today.”
Robbins reminded viewers that new appointments are released every Friday for the following week, in addition to same-day appointments available each day.
“If you or people you know are not yet vaccinated,” Robbins said, “please register for an appointment or help spread the word. We really need to get people vaccinated, and we have a lot of work remaining to do not only here locally in our community and across the nation but indeed around the globe.”
Robbins also asked Arizonans to participate in the university’s Antibody Testing Initiative, which will inform research on vaccine effectiveness.
“This is a really important research initiative that I think will help us not only understand how individuals are responding to the vaccine and infections, but will help guide further utilization of the vaccine,” Robbins said.
From April 8 to April 17, the UA administered 9,497 COVID-19 tests, which resulted in 53 positives – a positivity rate of 0.6%.
The virus’s rate of transmission in the university zip-code area experienced a minor increase to 1.04 from 1.02 the previous week. The Rt on the county level decreased to 0.91 from 1.00 the previous week.
“We’re happy we’re here, but we want to do better,” said task force director Dr. Richard Carmona.
The Campus Area Response Team was deployed to eight incidents of large gatherings last week, a decrease from eleven incident the previous week. None of these incidents were a gathering of 100 or more individuals, but two incidents were gatherings of between 50 and 99 individuals.
“As we emphasize every week,” Carmona said, “each one of these represents a potential meeting of people that can be transmitting disease and cause the pandemic to go on. Not only is this dangerous to you as an individual, but it's dangerous to the community.”
The VUSU team will meet again next Monday, April 26.
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