NewsCoronavirus

Actions

Colleges plan for virus testing, but strategies vary widely

Virus Outbreak College Testing
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 09:10:25-04

BOSTON -- Dozens of U.S. colleges are announcing plans to test students for the coronavirus this fall, but their strategies vary widely.

Colby College in Maine plans to test all students every other day for two weeks and then twice a week.

Harvard University will test students on campus three times a week.

But some plan to test students only if they show symptoms or come into contact with a positive case, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Federal health officials discourage widespread testing on college campuses, but some researchers say it's necessary to prevent outbreaks.

Cornell and Yale university researchers say that without widespread testing, COVID-19 could be spread by infected students who don't show symptoms.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.