Posts tagged highered

gazettetimes.com
"Our students in general have been extremely mindful of health issues and I hope that continues, not only for students but for community members throughout the county."
No, the university made the decision to open campus in a pandemic with full knowledge that outbreaks are happening at campuses across the country. They are risking the health of the community and they shouldn’t frame it as up to the students.
Daily Beast
"The comments represent one of the most explicit acknowledgments to date that the White House’s aggressive push to bring students back to campus this fall has created serious risks for increased COVID transmission. It also underscores just how fragile the current situation is at college campuses across the country."
Seems like something they could have predicted. It’s almost like the push to open campuses was motivated by something other than public health concerns.
NBC News
“As of this morning, we have tested 954 students and have 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus” university officials wrote in a statement. “So far, we have been fortunate that most students who have tested positive have demonstrated mild symptoms.”
Another danger of opening campuses and then abruptly closing them is creating a spreading event. Here's more from The Chronicle of Higher Education: UNC Pulls the Plug on In-Person Fall. Will Other Campuses Follow?
"Students now must pack up and go home. Once there, Joseph Eron, chief of the infectious-diseases division at the UNC School of Medicine, recommended that they quarantine themselves for a time, away from their family members. They should stay in a separate room, wash their hands frequently, and wear a mask around the house. “They should not expose themselves to their parents or their grandparents,” he said. “That’s the way to be completely safe.” After all, they would be returning from something of a coronavirus hotspot."
Cluster, indeed.
bloomberg.com
"Just as premature reopenings of bars, stores and restaurants ended up causing big Covid outbreaks and hurting business activity in many Sun Belt states, virus outbreaks on campuses could cause a stampede away from universities eroding trust in universities as responsible stewards of young people’s health and safety."
In the face of no good choices, I think colleges should prioritize the health of their communities.
The Atlantic
"Relying on the self-control of young adults, rather than deploying the public-health infrastructure needed to control a disease that spreads easily among people who live, eat, study, and socialize together, is not a safe reopening strategy—and yelling at students for their dangerous behavior won’t help either."
We shouldn’t blame students when campuses start closing. The Oregon Health Authority just warned that test results are taking up to two weeks to come back. We know before opening that we don’t have the testing infrastructure in place to have an accurate, timely picture of spread.
ctbergstrom.com
"While college students may be less likely to suffer severe outcomes from Covid-19, college outbreaks do not stay on campus. They incubate disease and amplify transmission chains that reach and kill members of more vulnerable populations. To allow universities to open without testing is to replicate the error at the root of the feckless and incoherent federal response: ignoring the available evidence, hoping for the best, and planning accordingly."
This is a PDF of an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education shared by the author. It seems like a solid plan for virus surveillance should be a big part of reopening in the current environment, but I haven't seen much about that. Our testing capabilities (at least here in Oregon: Oregon’s COVID-19 struggles: Concerns over testing capacity and week-long waits for results) might not be up to the task.
papers.ssrn.com
"We believe rushing to reopen campuses involves wishful thinking and magical thinking, reflecting the comforts from path dependence and status quo bias. While optimism is admirable, so are honesty and realism. Sometimes, defensive pessimism is more adaptive, appropriate, functional, helpful, and useful than unbridled positivity. We are only in the second inning of COVID-19, with testing extremely confusing and statistically unreliable. Rushing to reopen campuses offers only the illusion of safety. In contrast, offering an effective online alternative provides the reality of safety."
An essay from two law professors critical of plans to open college campuses. I really agree with the point I quoted here about the weakness of the positive thinking that seems to be the driving force behind all covid-19 planning.
The Verge
"New students matriculating at schools offering fully online programs will not receive visas, per ICE. Students who are already enrolled at such schools will be required to transfer or leave the country."
The cruelty is the point.
oregonlive.com
"The Oregon Health Authority had recommended against closing campuses where cases of COVID-19 are not present. But Oregon has conducted limited testing for the virus, creating a misleading picture of the virus’s community spread. Not everyone who has wanted to be tested has been."
The right call.
nytimes.com
"The University of Washington said it would move to online classes for its 50,000 students. With colleges nationwide about to empty for spring break, students fear they might not be coming back."
They’re planning to open their campus again March 30th.