Will Colleges Open In The Spring 2021

November 10, 2020
Will Colleges Open In The Spring 2021

Will Colleges Open In The Spring 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges in the U.S. have suspended in-person spring instruction and commencement and devised plans for virtual learning. And colleges that are yet to reach a decision to learn remotely are almost certain to follow this trend. This decision to upend in-person classes was due to uncontrolled COVID-19 epidemics in some parts of the country.
If appropriate measures are not put in place, colleges could become hot spots of Covid-19 transmission. College students from states with high coronavirus incidence and prevalence returning to their various campuses in other states could cause spikes in COVID-19 cases.

While interventions such as the use of nose coverings, social distancing, and limits to the size of gatherings are helpful, curbing the virus from spreading could mean getting rid of congregate settings like college campuses. 

And thankfully, with the help of online learning and videoconferencing tools, colleges can conduct classes and graduate students virtually. For some colleges, however, there would be provisions for students who need to take courses offline. But classes would continue to be primarily online to protect the students from the COVID-19 viral infection.

Colleges may also allow students whose homes are not conducive to learning to live on campuses, while those with an enabling learning environment will continue their classes online.
Let’s take, for example, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. In the college’s email dated October 5 to the school’s community, the president noted that seniors, juniors, and sophomores would be allowed back on campus for the spring semester. This arrangement also favors first-year students, including international students, whose home is not a place to learn effectively. Other measures such as COVID-19 testing program and separate bedrooms will also be made available to students living on campuses to ensure their safety. 

How Colleges Can Be Safely Reopened For Spring Semester

Entry testing of staff and students for COVID-19 is one strategy to avert outbreaks. Also, those who have been tested upon entry should undergo continued examination every three to four days using a high specificity test that is very good at identifying people with the virus.
Frequent testing would be of immense value since colleges can’t just be sealed off their surroundings. All students, however, should be placed under high-frequency surveillance by monitoring their entry and exit. This would especially be true in areas of high transmission of the virus.
Because the novel coronavirus knows no bound, despite all the necessary measures many schools have put in place, the most effective way to reopen colleges for the spring semester is to use virtual classes. While students may miss out on face-to-face interaction, communication with fellow students, and many more, being safe remains the priority. And the protection of all students and members of staff can be fully achieved if congregate settings like college campuses are completely eliminated. 
For classes that require in-person instruction, however, strict compliance with COVID-19 protective measures such as physical distancing, proper hygiene, use of nose covering, and particularly, limiting the size of gatherings would help colleges open in springs with little to no problems.

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