Arizona COVID update: Thanksgiving edition

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By Troy Hutchison

Arizona was one of the hot spots for COVID-19 around the country during June and July, with the highest cases-per-day coming on July 1, with a total of 4,877 cases across the state.

After the spike, Arizona saw numbers decrease through mid-October, causing the state to reopen with some limitations still in place.

Now, as we’re near the end of November, case numbers are starting to rise again, with 4,471 new cases on Nov. 20. The rise has brought concern to local leaders all across the state of Arizona and leaves people to wonder if students will be coming back to college campuses such as the University of Arizona (UA).

When you walk around campus at UA, you’ll find many different opinions about the situation and how it might affect the school moving forward for the 2020-21 school year. 

Chris Gamez, a second-year Biology major, is one of those students planning on going back home to his family in San Diego for thanksgiving.

“It’s a really scary situation with numbers rising across the country,” Gamez said. “I planned on coming back to campus a couple of days after Thanksgiving, but I might just buy a one-way ticket and just play it day-by-day before I make a decision.”

With the possibility of school-going strictly back to remote learning, it has caused students to change their plans when it comes to the spring semester.

Some students have taken the complete opposite approach to trip planning, like Madison Olsen, a fourth-year Medical student planning on going back home to Wichita Falls, Texas.

“I was planning on going back home and spending Thanksgiving with my whole family,” Olsen said. “However, with the restrictions in my home state, it is impossible to have a huge Thanksgiving like our family usually does, so I’m just going to spend it with a friend’s and her family in Flagstaff.” 

As we head into the holiday season, it’ll be interesting to see if the number of students that return to campus lowers and if cases on campuses spike due to the holiday traveling. With numbers rising, no one truly knows how the rest of the academic school year will play out or how classes are going to be like moving forward.

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