Due to the fact that the reopening of schools was expected to cause a rise in Covid cases, as students were first arriving on campus, colleges took a number of precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.
Over the summer, even when many thought the country was starting to get ahead of the virus, schools planned accordingly. Many universities arranged to operate at a limited capacity, offering both online and in person options. Some institutions who offered such options were: the University of Texas at Austin, Washington University Saint Louis, Brown University, The California Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University. To prevent the spread of covid in their dormitories, universities such as the University of Chicago and Princeton University implemented a one person per room policy. Nearly all schools offer an opt-out program, allowing the students to participate in full online learning. Those in person are asked to wear masks, remain socially distanced, come to class only when healthy, and get tested if needed. Students are also advised to avoid large social gatherings.
Unfortunately, despite these measures, cases among college students are on the rise. Twenty-two states are currently experiencing a rise in confirmed Covid cases, causing college campuses to crack down harder on safety measures. In New York City, which has the country’s highest number of confirmed cases among college students, NYPD officers are being utilized to enforce Covid safety mandates. Whether or not the schools will stay open when faced with rising case numbers is something administrations may have to decide in the near future.
Maria Byrnes’23, Staff Writer