COVID-19 masks will be optional on the UArizona campus from March 21st
COVID-19 masks will be optional on the UArizona campus from March 21st

COVID-19 masks will be optional on the UArizona campus from March 21st

Wearing masks on campus to protect yourself from COVID-19 will be optional from next week when University of Arizona students return to class after the spring break.

School officials say masks will be recommended but not required Monday for indoor spaces on the Tucson campus and others Pima Amt locations.

University President Robert Robbins said that if the number of cases continues to coincide with the county and most of the rest of the Arizonathe university will be “well positioned to relax our mask protocols.”

Health officials said almost the entire state is in the middle category for the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University has already made masks optional for most campus locations.

The changes follow relaxed guidelines late last month from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MORE: Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest Case Figures

To protect yourself from a possible infection CDC recommends:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a napkin, then throw the napkin in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently affected objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or cloth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a fabric face cover when you are around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet; before eating; and after brushing the nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily

Symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These, of course, look like the common cold and flu.

Expect a common cold to start with a sore or itchy throat, cough, runny and / or stuffy nose. Influenza symptoms are more intense and usually occur suddenly and may include high fever.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be slower. They usually include fever, dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is of particular concern to the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.

RELATED: Is it the flu, cold or COVID-19? Different viruses show similar symptoms

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you experience any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms – do not go directly to your doctor’s office. It just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call in advance and ask if you should be seen and where.

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