Tips for heading to college during COVID-19
Many young adults who are heading to college are encountering a different experience because of COVID-19. Saria Saccocio, MD, Ambulatory Chief Medical Officer at Prisma Health, offered some suggestions for students to keep in mind as they head to campus.
“If we want our schools to stay open, we’ve got to continue to follow the precautions – keep at least a six-foot distance between one another, wash our hands and wear our masks. It’s challenging to do, but it’s definitely possible, especially if we want to keep our in-person college experience,” said Dr. Saccocio.
What are some tips college students can use to stay safe?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered some recommendations.
In a dorm:
- Avoid sharing items with roommates or others.
- If you do, clean and disinfect before sharing or using.
If sharing a bathroom:
- Avoid placing toothbrushes directly on counter surfaces.
- Use totes for personal items to limit contact with other surfaces in the bathroom.
In the classroom
- Enroll in online classes if they fit your educational needs.
- Wipe down your desk with a disinfectant wipe if possible.
- Skip seats or rows to create physical distance between other students.
- Avoid placing your personal items (e.g., cell phone) on your desk.
In the dining hall:
- Avoid sharing food, drink, utensils or other items with people.
- Pick up grab-and-go options for meals if offered.
- Avoid buffets and self-serve stations.
In the laundry room:
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that others have touched (e.g., buttons on the washing machine).
- Wash masks in warmest appropriate water setting for the fabric.
Dr. Saccocio said students can find some fun in the situation as well. “There are trendy masks out there as well as games for entertainment that focus around social distancing and the challenge that it creates.”
She also encouraged students to take the opportunity to lead the way in protecting their community. “I am most impressed with this generation of young adults and their natural instinct to be leaders. You can truly make a difference and turn this around in a very positive way.”
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