The COVID-19 situation keeps changing and so do the recommendations from the government and CDC. As a high school or college student, it may be difficult to keep up to date on what exactly colleges and universities are doing in response! As of January 2022, colleges are seeing extremely high rates of COVID cases in recent weeks. Some are hitting record highs. Here are some things you may be seeing in your own college and what you should know before visiting a campus.
Most Schools Are Requiring Vaccinations and Masks
A majority of colleges and universities in the United States are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations from their current and incoming students. Some are already requesting the booster shot to attend, too, but this varies from school to school.
On a number of campuses, students, faculty, staff, and guests are expected to wear masks indoors.
Tracking COVID on Campus is Proving Difficult
In the event a college student comes down with COVID, they are required to isolate. However, with limited testing and resources available in a number of states, this can be extremely difficult to track. At many campuses, students who come in contact with someone with COVID are required to isolate, but if the sick student isn’t tested, it can prove impossible to get the word out. Students and staff can become infected without knowing they were exposed.
Some believe that the numbers of infected, while already high, could be higher due to the lack of testing and tracking.
There Are More Remote Options, But Most Schools are Fully Open
A large majority of campuses are completely open for students – to the surprise of many. Only about 14% of colleges in the United States started the spring semester entirely online – compared to 40% last year.
However, colleges and universities are offering more remote and online learning options to their students. It’s easier than ever to find courses online or work from your dorm room should you have to isolate due to contact with the virus.
Every School is Different
It’s important to note that every school is different when it comes to COVID-19 policies and protocols. What one college may be implementing is not the rule across the board. There is guidance from the CDC, but schools are not necessarily required to follow them.
If you’re visiting a campus as a high school student, it’s important to know what to expect before visiting. For example, some schools are not allowing in-person visits at the moment and only allowing virtual tours. And most colleges are asking visitors to wear a mask during your tour, in buildings, and other areas of the college. Always make sure to follow the requirements and requests – failing to do so could result in your application being denied before you even get your foot in the door!
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