As College Students Travel Home, Here Are 5 Tips for a Safe Visit

By Anna Breuer on 17 November 2020
  • Share

Students on campus, known as the grounds, of the University of Virginia

In past years, it was generally assumed that college students would cross over the river and perhaps through the woods to return to their parents’ homes.   This year, amidst a raging pandemic, the visit presents all parties with a series of daunting challenges, namely how to ensure to the extent possible that the college student in question doesn’t bring a coronavirus infection along for the ride and infect parents and siblings, and to ensure that the student doesn’t engage with friends while home and bring the virus back to campus.

Earlier in November, the CDC issued new guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday, underscoring the point that the safest way to spend the holiday “is to celebrate only with people in your own household.”

The problem is that college students, by virtual of their on-campus living situation, are no longer in the same household and intermingling is unavoidable.

There are some precautions parents and college students can take to reduce the possibility of infection, however.  Here are five highly recommend steps to follow:

1.)       Students should reduce contact with others for a week prior to leaving for home

2.)       Students should be vigilant about social distancing and face masks on campus as well as during the trip home.  They need to take care to avoid anyone without a mask or someone who is not respecting the social-distancing requirement.

3.)       Treat the trip like a trip to countries that are only allowing those who have a negative coronavirus test result within 72 hours of departure in.  Get tested. Travel by the safest means possible, alone in a car or on a non-stop flight, and test again within three days of arrival.

4.)       Avoid close proximity and do not hug one another for the first few days.

5.)       Finally, for the holiday meal, keep the guest list short.  If possible, dine outside and if that’s not doable, ensure the dining room has excellent ventilation by opening windows and using an exhaust fan.  Guests should have masks on except for the specific period of time they are eating and drinking.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)