College and Coronavirus Are Not a Great Mix

So what can be done?

Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readSep 15, 2020

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Preventing the spread of Covid-19 on college campuses has been a difficult task. Even universities that have laid out comprehensive plans for college students, including widespread testing and contract tracing plans, have struggled with outbreaks. There are now over 88,000 cases of Covid-19 at over 1,190 colleges and universities. The new coronavirus hot spots appear to be college towns.

Many colleges gave it the old college try: Bloomberg recently outlined the ways that University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for example, seemingly did everything right, from using researchers at the university to develop a saliva test to be taken by students twice a week to developing an app that alerts students if they’ve been in contact with anyone who tested positive for Covid-19. Even so, in a period of 10 days there were 784 positive cases that emerged, and estimates suggested that if the trend continued there could be 8,000 cases during the semester. The school is now testing “higher-risk people,” like students who live in fraternities, three times a week and has a new team to help students who test positive isolate.

As the New York Times reported this week, at least eight colleges have canceled in-person classes due to virus outbreaks while others are trying to “power through” the pandemic. “The University of Alabama and the University of Georgia have continued to hold in-person classes despite more than a thousand positive cases of coronavirus at each school,” the Times writes.

There’s an ongoing blame game happening over who is at fault. Is it that universities were not prepared for how quickly Covid would spread? Is it the college students who are deciding to party at college?

“Outbreaks in schools, and college campuses, were to be expected given that we do not have strong community-level control over transmission in all parts of our country at this time,” says Abraar Karan, MD, an internal medicine doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, adding that…

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Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog

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