FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Medical professionals worry about University of Arkansas students returning to in-person classes after Thanksgiving break.
Our healthcare system is starting to get a little strained.DR. MARTI SHARKEY, FAYETTEVILLE CITY HEALTH OFFICER
The University of Arkansas started the new school year with a surge of COVID-19 cases on campus, but the number of positive cases started to drop and remained fairly low.
As of Wednesday, November 11, there are 103 active COVID-19 cases reported at the U of A.
A lot can change for better or worse in a week with this virus. I’m nervous it’s going to be worse.DR. MARTI SHARKEY, FAYETTEVILLE CITY HEALTH OFFICER
Fayetteville City Health Officer Dr. Marti Sharkey said she’s concerned about what will happen when students return to campus after Thanksgiving break — especially since many are from Texas.
According to data from John Hopkins University, Texas surpassed one-million COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
Dr. Sharkey said she worries students will go home, visit friends, get the virus, and bring it back to Fayetteville.
“We are seeing so many cases, so far dispersed, and going up so quickly,” she said. “All of it concerns me.”
University of Arkansas Spokesman John Thomas said while this also concerns him, the university stands by its decision to continue in-person classes after the break.
“We’re prepared to pivot if we need to,” he said. “Right now we still feel like the campus is a safe environment and our classrooms are a safe environment.”
Thomas said the university is monitoring case numbers both in Arkansas and surrounding states.
He said the U of A is also strongly encouraging students to get COVID-19 tested before and after Thanksgiving break.
“Your health is a priority and we want you to stay healthy and continue finishing the semester the way we started it,” he said.
It is not a requirement though.
Protect mom and dad, protect your grandparents, protect your loved ones.DR. MARTI SHARKEY, FAYETTEVILLE CITY HEALTH OFFICER