Information from the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report.
The Arizona athletics department announced today that it will pause bringing additional student-athletes back to campus given the increasing surge of positive COVID-19 cases in Pima County as well as the increased burden on the healthcare system locally.
The department also reported that one positive test for COVID-19 has occurred among the 83 student-athletes who already returned to campus for voluntary physical activities. This individual has entered the department’s protocol for positive tests. In lieu of Governor Ducey’s executive order announced on Monday, the athletics department will seek additional guidance from state and local government authorities as to whether voluntary workouts will continue.
The Arizona Re-Entry Task Force, Campus Health Services, Pima County Health Department and other local health care experts impacted the decision by the Arizona Athletics’ Re-Entry Planning Team to discontinue allowing more athletes to report to campus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have made this decision with campus and community partners to pause our re-entry process,” said Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said. “The health, safety and well-being of all members of our community is our number one priority. We will continue to work in conjunction with campus partners and our local government agencies to support and evaluate a safe and healthy return to campus.”
Dr. Stephen Paul of C.A.T.S. Medical Services said, “Our mission has always been, first and foremost, the safety of our student-athletes, staff and community. Health and safety continue to be the guiding force in our re-entry process. We will continue to monitor the status and impact of COVID-19 in our community and our ongoing and safe training of student-athletes already on campus. Arizona Athletics will assess when to resume its re-entry process in collaboration with the guidelines and protocols of the University of Arizona, Pac-12 Conference, NCAA, and state and local government agencies.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.