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Should colleges and universities open in person for the Fall 2020 semester? Show more Show less
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The COVID-19 pandemic has left the future of colleges and universities in a state of utter uncertainty. Across the world they are struggling to come up with safe and equitable strategies for reopening, but which one is best?

Depends - On outside data Show more Show less

The risk presented by the question changes based on certain factors
< (3 of 3)

Whether universities should open depends on community transmission

If too high in the community then no, if low then it may be a resonable risk.

The Argument

Throughout the summer of 2020, the pros and cons have been weighed as to whether or not students should be able to return to college campuses for the Fall semester. Though the risk is high for many areas such as California and Florida, there are several areas where the number of COVID-19 outbreaks have decreased. For the areas where there is a lower risk of contracting the virus, colleges and universities should be allowed to attend classes in-person. As long as students and faculty follow the social distancing guidelines, such as keeping a six foot distance between students, and the mandatory use of face coverings, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is less likely. Experts have also stressed that screening and testing students for COVID-19 prior to entering campuses is strongly advised. Students traveling from a high risk area to a college that is located in a low risk area should quarantine for at least 14 days prior to attending classes. For example, as of June 25th, 2020, a travel advisory for New York City was issued, saying that if you have traveled to New York from one of the states with significant community spread, you are required to quarantine for 14 days once you enter the state. [1] As for colleges that are located in high risk areas, attending classes in person should be put on hold and wait for the number of cases to go down in that area. Colleges and universities should continue with their plans for virtual learning, and to avoid college campuses in areas that have a higher risk. [2] Experts state that if college students return in the Fall, and the number of COVID-19 cases increases due to student interactions, the school should have an emergency plan to shut down again. If testing shows that cases have not increased, colleges and universities should remain open for in-class learning.

Counter arguments

Students returning to colleges for the Fall 2020 semester are putting themselves and others at risk for the spread of COVID-19. Even if safety guidelines are met, there is still a great chance that the virus will spread throughout campuses. There is also concern that students will not follow the proper safety guidelines. Social interaction is a major part of college life, and even with guidelines in place, there is a high chance that students will not properly follow them. If an area is considered low risk for the spread of the virus, it is likely that the numbers will increase, putting more of the population at risk and progress in that area will be lost.

Proponents


Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

This page was last edited on Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 23:33 UTC

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