It’s the worst thing to send students back home amid pandemic: US health expert

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 04, 2020 Published on September 04, 2020

Nearly 1,000 students have tested positive at the University of Iowa

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the United States reaching colleges and universities, Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading health expert who has been at the helm of the coronavirus taskforce, urged colleges to keep students within the campus whether they are sick or not, NBC reported.

In an interview with NBC, Fauci said: “It’s the worst thing you could do. When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.”

This comes as Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, cautioned the administration on Monday, and said that college students could spread the virus and become the reason for another major outbreak if they venture beyond campuses.

“Sending these individuals back home in their asymptomatic state to spread the virus in their hometown or among their vulnerable households could really re-create what we experienced over the June time frame in the South,” Birx said, according to a source on the call, NBC report added.

Two biggest outbreaks

The health experts raised concerns as the two biggest outbreaks erupted in the University of Iowa.

Iowa State, which has a large student population, reported a spike in cases the second week of school, with a 28.8 per cent positivity rate among students.

According to the University of Iowa’s Covid-19 dashboard, nearly 1,000 students have tested positive within the past two weeks.

While James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, reported over 400 cases of the coronavirus after they resumed classes. The University of Notre Dame in Indiana reported around 600 cases.

In another interview with CNN, Fauci said that colleges and universities should only resume classes if they have proper protocols in place. This includes regular testing, surveillance testing at various intervals, and readily available quarantine spaces.

Meanwhile, the US has recorded over 6.6 million cases of the coronavirus, with 187,000 deaths reported so far, as per the worldometer dashboard.

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Published on September 04, 2020
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