University of Arizona College of Medicine begins school year with a COVID-19 case

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 00:28:03-04

First year medical students began classes today at the University of Arizona’s Phoenix campus with a warning.

Someone tested positive for COVID-19 and became symptomatic during a new student orientation event last week.

The medical school told faculty, staff and students if they attended the event, assume you were in contact with the infected person.

“It’s a sense of like, oh man it’s like you want to return back to normal but then you realize [COVID-19] is still a thing so just being safe and listening to what the professors say,” said Mahesh Challapalli, a first year medical student from Nevada.

The Arizona legislature just passed a law, which the governor signed, prohibiting public schools and universities from requiring anyone to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or wear a mask. There is an exception for medical students in clinical setting who can be required to wear masks.

The medical school does recommend everyone get vaccinated.

“I didn’t think I finally escaped it you know. We’re still climbing out of the pandemic but I’m glad we are all vaccinated and doing what we can to stay safe,” said Quin Johnson, a first year medical student from California.

A spokesperson for the college of medicine said details of the positive COVID-19 test were made available to faculty, staff and students Monday. Soon after it confirmed the findings.

“If you’re vaccinated, they said pretty much just watch out for symptoms, stuff like that and then quarantine,” said 1st year medical student Frank Cossio of Phoenix.

The College of Medicine says it will continue to monitor the situation.