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University officials have organized a mass COVID-19 testing clinic to take place on campus during the first five weeks of school, while fully in-person classes will begin as scheduled Tuesday, Interim Chancellor Charles Robinson said in a campus-wide email Wednesday.

The clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Feb. 18 at the Arkansas Union Mall. Additional information will be announced later this week.

While many college and university administrators nationwide have canceled in-person classes for part of the spring semester and/or introduced vaccine, booster, or testing requirements for students' return to campus, Robinson announced no such measures Wednesday.

Robinson said the university’s current preventative measures have been effective at combating the spread of COVID-19 on the UA campus, but that students and faculty must remain diligent during the disease’s current surge driven by the rise of the omicron variant.

“In order to make this work best, it is on each of us to do our part to demonstrate personal accountability to keep each other safe with the full utilization of our mitigation tools,” Robinson said.

Robinson emphasized that masks will continue to be required in university buildings. Faculty members can also prohibit eating within classrooms to better uphold the mask-wearing policy, he said.

Additionally, UA administrators will host a spring 2022 town hall discussion Jan. 19, during which members of the community can ask questions about the coming semester. Some of the discussion panelists will include Associated Student Government President Coleman Warren, Pat Walker Health Center Medical Director Dr. Huda Sharaf and COVID-19 Response Team Co-chair Laura Jacobs. Community members can register to attend in-person at the Faulkner Performing Arts Center, or online via Zoom.

In his email, Robinson encouraged students and faculty to get vaccinated and recognized the efforts UA community members have made to operate safely during the pandemic.

“Thank you for your perseverance during this very challenging time and I ask that we continue to work together to continue to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff,” Robinson said.

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