COVID-19 and Universities


  University and college campuses look like never before. Face masks, increased social distancing, and even entirely virtual classes are all things that are seen at schools in 2020. Are people getting sick? How is this affecting students’ mental health? What more can we do to stop the spread? 

  All over the country, schools are reopening with stricter guidelines than ever. Smaller schools like Drury University have implemented increased testing. If a student is attending university or college and has no symptoms of COVID, they might still be tested. This may be called asymptomatic community testing. The purpose of this is to find asymptomatic students that are carrying the disease without even knowing it. 

  Many schools require face coverings when on campus and in classes. It has been proven by multiple studies that wearing a face mask will decrease the risk of catching or passing on COVID. 

  Another way schools are keeping students safe is by limiting exposures in common areas. Dining halls have been modified to allow 6-feet of distance, common rooms shared between many students have been closed, and food delivery is being used to students who are quarantined or have tested positive. When a student tests positive, the first thing that they are to do is notify the school. Then, they are to self-quarantine for 14 days. They might have a contact tracing alert for people who have been around the student. Food will be delivered to their door and they will not leave their room. 

  Schools are finding lower transmission rates in the actual classrooms than in other places. College and university students like to hang out with friends. Partying outside of school is one of the reasons why schools are seeing outbreaks. Sitting in a socially distanced classroom with a mask is relatively safe. Going to a party with no masks at someone’s house is more dangerous.

  Some schools have chosen to only offer classes online. Maybe it’s because the surrounding area is seeing a spike in cases. It might also be because not enough students applied to go back in-person. 

  Every day, experts are finding more information about COVID. By the next semester, more information could be released, new data could be found, and treatments could be developed. For more information, visit the CDC website.