College students returning home for Thanksgiving poses great threat

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Photo by Marina Engler '21

College students coming home for Thanksgiving does not only pose a threat to our Westport community, but also communities all around the nation, something universities should take into consideration before sending students home.

Marina Engler '21, Staff Writer

As coronavirus cases surge once again, a highly contested question of whether it is safe to send college students back home during Thanksgiving break is on  the minds of many.  As someone who currently has a brother away at college, of course I want him to come home so we can spend the holiday together; however I am worried about the possible risk of infection considering he is coming from Atlanta where the pandemic is much worse. 

I believe that students should be able to come home for the holidays only if there is an adequate plan put in place by the college or university and they have a proven negative test prior to leaving campus. 

I know that some universities have a plan set in place allowing students to return home for Thanksgiving break and then not allowing them to return to campus until January. I think that approach is appropriate to limit the spread of the virus on campus, however it does not hinder my fears of students returning to Westport and the potential they have to spread the virus here.

I believe that one attainable way to ensure that Westport cases stay at bay is to enforce a mandatory two week quarantine for all those who crossed state borders or traveled from a college campus.”

Connecticut has been announced as an orange covid zone and multiple positive cases have been reported at Staples. Now more than ever we have to be attentive to the social distancing guidelines and regulations set in place by Governor Lamont. 

I believe that one attainable way to ensure that Westport cases stay at bay is to enforce a mandatory two week quarantine for all those who crossed state borders or traveled from a college campus.

 I also think that some responsibility lays in the hands of those who have family members coming back home. Those who are affected by a sibling or family member returning home should also quarantine until a positive test result is gotten from all those who should be tested. This would hopefully limit the spread of cases in our town and our school, something that everyone will benefit from. 

The last thing I would want to see is the school doors closing and not being allowed to finish my senior year at least somewhat in person, as I’m sure many would agree with. If college students do plan on coming home for Thanksgiving break like it seems they are, it is going to have to be a group effort. We must all do our part in listening to our intuition and judgement on what we think is right to keep yourself and most importantly others safe.