When COVID-19 came to the states this year, most colleges cut the year short or finished the year entirely online. While it’s become clear that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere any time soon, schools are forming a plan for this coming school year. Being a parent to a college student is scary enough without COVID-19, but this year is making parents more nervous than ever. Luckily, there are ways for your college student to stay safe during the 2020 school year!
Navigating College During a Pandemic
Your child’s safety at college will depend on where their school is located and what the local and state policies are in that area. States that have seen a decline in the number of cases may be more willing to hold in-person classes or allow students to stay in dorms, while areas that are continuing to see a rise in cases may opt to do most of their learning online. Contact the college to learn details about what their plans are for the school year. If the college will be holding any in person classes or other student services, they should be prepared to amp up their cleaning and sanitizing efforts. Class sizes should be small enough to allow students to sit 6 feet apart and have their own work area. If this isn’t the case, then dividers should be used between students.
Encourage your college student to practice social distancing and to always wear a mask on campus. The typical college vision of parties and large gatherings will need to be put on hold this year.
Inquire About School Resources
Any college that is allowing students to learn or study on campus should be providing ample resources to keep those students safe. Before classes begin, inquire about testing services on campus and what the protocol is if a student tests positive. Students that return to campus shouldn’t have to worry about finding a location to get tested if they fear they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Encourage your college student to visit a local healthcare provider to discuss their health status and determine if they’re considered high-risk or not. High-risk students should take advantage of remote learning options to further protect themselves. Your local urgent care center is a great resource for these questions, and they can even provide COVID-19 testing and antibody testing while you’re there!