With the holidays approaching, some colleges are playing it safe with COVID

The holidays are fast approaching, and I think we can all agree that the nation is in for a much-needed break. For those who are into education, this is a break from the political interferences creeping into America’s education systems, workload, and many other factors. Simply put, you deserve it.

However, it is important for everyone to remain alert to the coronavirus this year, even though restrictions were eased as recently as this school year. And many colleges are working to make sure that students and faculty play it safe this holiday season.

In October, President Joe Biden called on colleges and universities to do their part to protect their campuses by hosting at least one vaccination clinic by Thanksgiving.

Williams College in Massachusetts, for example, announced stricter COVID-19 policies for students once they returned from Thanksgiving break, according to the student-run paper. Williams record. Students will be required to wear masks nearly everywhere on campus from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6, according to a campus-wide email from communications chief Jim Risch. In addition, students must undergo a COVID test once before they return to campus and twice after they arrive.

The requirements are similar to those set forth at the beginning of the fall semester.

“Our goal with these rules is to help everyone get through the last weeks of the semester without coronavirus, with the ability to fully enjoy winter break and the holidays if you celebrate them,” Reische wrote.

Similarly, some Boston area colleges require boosters for their students to return for the spring semester. Tufts University and Harvard University, although in the minority, required students to get the bivalent booster by the end of the year.

“Students must comply with all vaccine requirements in order to register for the spring semester,” according to the Harvard Health Services website. “It is highly recommended that students receive their required immunizations during the fall semester while on campus.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over,” writes Michael R. Jordan, director of health infection control at Tufts University. “Indeed, SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, has become a pandemic infectious disease, and we continue to see new cases on our campuses. Therefore, in accordance with the university’s current COVID-19 vaccine policies, we require all eligible faculty, staff, and students to receive The updated (bivalent) version of COVID-19″.

Also preoccupying many education leaders is the potential for a “pandemic triplet,” a combination of COVID, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The number of cases of each virus is increasing after flying under the radar during the pandemic, according to Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Of greater concern is the timing of the emergence of these viruses, as they ramp up much earlier than normal.

“The Southern Hemisphere had a very bad flu season, and it came early,” said National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Bloomberg News. “The flu—as we’ve all suffered over many years—can be a serious illness, especially when you’ve had a bad season.”

“This could be a very good year that we have a ‘hostile epidemic,’” said Vanderbilt University Professor of Infectious Diseases, Dr. William Schaffner. NPR. And that means we have a spike in COVID and at the same time a spike in influenza. We can have them both affect our population at the same time.”

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