Colleges vs. COVID

Colleges+vs.+COVID

Adelyn Nowlan , Staff Writer

As we’re coming up on one year of the Covid-19 pandemic, colleges are continuing to come up with solutions to letting the students still learn while staying safe. With risks like spreading it to friends and family, a college campus is definitely a more dangerous place to spend time. For example, U.S. counties with large colleges that offered in-person classes last fall had a 56% rise in COVID-19 cases. On the other hand, schools that only offered online courses saw a drop in cases of almost 18% according to sciencenews.org.

Universities that opened later on in August and September had no sure way to keep students from getting sick. After looking at five specific universities that opened in the fall, each school put together some sort of testing along with on and off rules about mask wearing and public gatherings.

Four of these five schools faced at least one outbreak of the disease, but none sent students home before their Thanksgiving break. So, the experiment continues. One of the universities, University of Wisconsin, had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country. When the campus opened up in late August, not many restrictions were made. Students gathered without masks and in early September, 911 students and staff tested positive in one week alone. This was similar to the other campuses.

Diversely, Rice University in Houston didn’t have a breakout especially as bad as the others. This campus had more strict results and it seemed to have a positive effect. Students who were caught without a mask were required to do something similar to write a three page essay or do community service work. It seems to be the perfect solution. Case numbers remained low with not a single day with more than six reported cases. Although it seems to add up, the numbers didn’t reach as close to the other schools who had constant outbreaks.

As cases continue to decrease and the world slowly opens back up, the question lies, should the world actually be opening up?