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?
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The risk presented by the question changes based on certain factors
During the Fall semester, students move to many different areas of the world to attend college or University, causing great concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students may travel from high risk area to a college located in a lower risk area, therefore, putting increasing the chances of spreading the virus among campus.
Students traveling from a high risk area should be tested for COVID-19 before moving to college dorms or attending classes on campus. Though generally speaking, all students should be tested before arriving to school for the Fall semester, students from high risk areas should be the greatest concern when it comes to testing. Students who have not traveled very far to attend college or university are considered low risk, and are not as much of a concern as students coming from high-risk areas.
It is important to analyze the data of where students are coming from in order to attend classes. If there is a higher number of students coming from high-risk areas such as California or Arizona, the college or university should discuss whether or not it is a safe idea to bring students back to campus for the semester, or if they should continue with a safer plan of online learning.
There are many deciding factors incorporated in the decision to open schools for in-class learning, and students re-locating from high risk areas are one of them. Though it may seem wrong to discriminate on student locations, it is important to take precautions so that low risk areas avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Whether students are traveling from a high risk area or a low risk area should not be a deciding factor when it comes to the re-opening of college campuses. Students should avoid attending college campuses until the number of COVID-19 cases has decreased significantly. Once the number of cases goes down for a significant amount of time, and students are able to go back to on-campus learning, students will be allowed to travel anywhere to attend the school of their choice without having to undergo COVID-19 testing or other obstacles to attend school. Students should feel safe when they are away from home, and with the stresses of COVID-19 on students and staff, it will be harder for them to succeed when they feel they are unsafe from the virus.