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The decision to pull-back from repopulation will be one of the most complicated any leadership team will make. Not only are the public health and financial consequences immense, but there are dozens of variables that could inform this decision. Some of these may contradict one another, and others—like faculty and student opinion—are not easily quantified.
Research ramp-up plans include exhaustive detail on how researchers can keep themselves and their colleagues safe as they return to their labs. But these plans can be daunting, sometimes providing too much detail and burying the most important information that individual PIs need to know. To help institutions craft more actionable ramp-up plans—and ensure they have taken the appropriate steps to safeguard researcher well-being—we have outlined the minimum health and safety measures they should enact for individual researchers.
With the fall semester quickly approaching, many institutions are weighing how to facilitate safe, modified in-person campus operations. Residence halls—a cornerstone of socialization for most students—pose some of the greatest challenges for resuming campus life. If your leadership team is considering bringing residential students back to campus, here are four considerations to think about now.
As colleges and universities prepare for Spring semester, they must plan to continue employing the measures they diligently implemented in the Fall (e.g., enforcing masks, frequent testing, manual contact tracing) and work to strengthen their COVID-19 containment strategy in any way possible. Exposure notification apps – mobile apps that notify users of their exposure to other users who have tested positive for COVID-19 – can prove a valuable addition to any institution’s COVID-19 containment strategy.
At many institutions, living on campus is a crucial dimension of the student experience, as well as a key source of auxiliary revenue. But current public health evidence indicates that communal living could strongly facilitate virus transmission, and many campuses lack the ability to give each student the safest option of a private room and bathroom. Ultimately, all universities are facing the same question: what is the housing solution that provides students with an on-campus experience that’s as fulfilling as possible, while also protecting the community from outbreaks?
Leaders in higher education are grappling with a climate of constant uncertainty as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to evolve in the United States and around the world. While plans for the upcoming semester may change, one of the few certainties for institutions is if and when students return to campus, they will need to practice physical distancing until a vaccine is widely available.
Explore four major trends why institutions are reducing the number of students they plan to have return to campus.
In early June, EAB surveyed about 70 institutions on their plans to promote and enforce physical distancing on campus. Here are the three trends we uncovered.