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UA not planning virtual start for spring semester amid omicron variant news

University of Arizona president Robert Robbins has urged caution against the latest coronavirus variant, omicron, which has been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization.

During a Monday press conference, Robbins renewed his calls for students and staff get vaccinated, test regularly and follow good public health practice, but he stopped short of recommending virtual classes for the start of the spring semester.

“As of right now, the plans are to come back in January in the same format that we are finishing strong this semester with," he said. 

The university is requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or request an accommodation. Eighty percent of UA employees meet that requirement, Robbins said. 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.