The University of Arizona announced a list of updates to its COVID-19 protocols, including that it will not mandate, but strongly encourage, students to get vaccinated against the virus.
Weekly COVID-19 testing is now voluntary, but the university will require students to participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing in the event of an outbreak.
An email detailing the updates was sent out to students on Friday afternoon, July 30. It contained updated guidance on vaccines, testing and face coverings.
Though the university will not mandate students to get vaccinated, the UA will provide incentives for students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Students who upload their vaccine document will be randomly selected to receive items such as annual parking permits, ZonaZoo passes, or lunch with one of our Arizona Athletics coaches,” the university stated in the email.
For those who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine but would like to, Campus Health is administering the Pfizer vaccine to students and benefits-eligible employees. Individuals outside of these demographics or away from campus can find a vaccination site near them using VaccineFinder.
The UA is asking all students and employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to upload their vaccine card to the Campus Health system, which it said is secure and HIPAA-compliant.
Similar to its vaccine policy, the university will no longer mandate but will strongly encourage unvaccinated individuals to get tested for COVID-19 weekly. However, testing may become mandatory if there is a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
RELATED: UA PIKE chapter unrecognized; Alleged sexual assault possibly conflicts with official statements
“Please note that, in accordance with the new Arizona statute, the University may require students and/or employees to comply with mandatory COVID-19 testing in the event of a significant outbreak, as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services,” the university stated in the email.
There are three types of spaces in which face coverings will be mandatory: on university-provided transportation (e.g. CatTran), in University-operated or affiliated facilities where patients or clinical research subjects are seen in person and “in locations where personal protective equipment (including masks) has always been required to maintain safety protocols,” such as a laboratory.
Students should stay tuned for further updates from the university regarding fall 2021 reentry, as well as an email from Housing & Residential Life regarding COVID-19 policies for students living on campus.
Follow Kristijan Barnjak on Twitter