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UK variant of coronavirus detected on UofA campus

University urges precautions and vaccinations in wake of discovery

TUCSON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The University of Arizona announced Thursday the UK variant of coronavirus has been detected on campus.

Dr. Michael Dake, the university's senior vice president of health services, issued the alert in the form of a letter to the campus community. In it, Dake says a research study discovered the strain, which is 50% more transmittable, and causes more severe symptoms.

Dake writes:

Dr. Michael Dake

"The presence in our community of this more virulent version of the virus that causes COVID-19 means everyone needs to remain vigilant in preventing the spread of this virus...

It is imperative to wear your face covering, maintain physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wash your hands frequently."

- Dr. Michael Dake, UofA Health Services

Dake says a mask mandate remains in place for all campus buildings and recreational facilities, as well as in all instructional settings. The doctor also urged continued social distancing, hand washing, and other common safety protocols.

Dr. Dake also urged those associated with the university to get vaccinated as soon as possible. There is a mass vaccination clinic on campus. It is now offering shots to anyone 16 or older.

All available vaccines offer protection from the mutated strains of coronavirus. Dake says the sooner the public gets their shots, the sooner they'll be protected from all forms of the virus.

Arizona Coronavirus / State & Regional News
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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest.

Brandon Mejia

Brandon Mejia joins the news team as the evening anchor for KSWT. You can catch him weeknight at 6 and 10 p.m.

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