FAYETTEVILLE (KNWA/KFTA) – University of Arkansas students are starting the fall semester in just a few weeks as cases of COVID-19 and monkeypox rise. While some students have some concern coming back to campus, others aren’t too worried.

Hope Dwyer is a junior at U of A double-majoring in biological engineering and German. She’s studying abroad this semester and has a message for classmates both overseas and in Fayetteville.

“If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t come into class. If you just think it might be a cold, take precautions. We can’t keep risking getting everyone else sick and keeping this going,” said Dwyer.

James Christopher will be starting his senior year at the U of A this month. While he thinks both COVID-19 and monkeypox should be taken seriously, he’s not concerned about either impacting his final year.

“I know that they’ll just go virtual again most likely, and we’ll do everything remote. So, I know that it may stunt my senior year, but I know it won’t stop it.

As for COVID-19 prevention, Breeanne Carter with the Pat Walker Health Center, said there are a few measures they hope students will practice as the semester kicks off- such as masking and getting updated vaccinations. Masks are free at the the student help desk in the student union.

As of July 28, there were four cases of monkeypox in Arkansas. Just over 3,400 had been reported in the United States. Even though cases are low in the state, Carter still shares some advice going into this semester.

“We obviously encourage safe sex. If they notice rashes from themselves or their partners that are unexplained or new- see a medical provider,” said Carter.

If you’re a student at U of A and have concerns about COVID-19, monkeypox or any other illness, Carter said you should talk with a medical provider.

“They’re welcome to schedule an appointment and speak to one of our providers. They can call our desk with questions,” said Carter.

You can find out more health tips and information from the Pat Walker Health Center by going to their website.