Monday, April 27, 2020

Open the Universities Up this Fall? This Could Get Tricky

Source: Al Jazeera

My employer, Virginia Commonwealth University, is exploring all options for returning students to campus in Fall 2020. This issue is not unique.

An essay on re-opening universities, with a recipe for how to do it,  was published today in the New York Times (available here). 

I have no issues with the points raised which include COVID-19  testing,  contact tracing, social distancing strategies etc.

One element was conspicuously absent in the essay: student health services. These campus, ambulatory clinics are neither prepared, staffed nor integrated with local health systems to provide a coordinated public health response to COVID-19 across a student body, particularly in large state universities. The role of student health, public health departments and local health systems must be clear when thousands of students return to campus.

This could get tricky.