CHICAGO (CBS) — New information from a leading infectious disease specialist that every parent of kids in college needs to hear.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports on why classes and dorms aren’t the problem but the new problem age group is 18 to 29.
While colleges and universities are doing a good job regulating, those in the youthful prime are testing limits, exposing risk and are proving a trick to tame.
“It’s so hard to know what to do with colleges. Because young adults are causing outbreaks and having increase rates of spread in young adults everywhere in the country, regardless of whether they’re in class,” said Doctor Emily Landon.
In person, hybrid or remote learning, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the magnet of being near campus, near classmates, not necessarily in dorms or in class that’s the risk factor.
“College students, when they’re not in college, are still college students,” said Landon.
When COVID-19 broke, colleges emptied. But it was nursing homes that bore the brunt.
“There was no testing available at nursing homes at the beginning of this pandemic,” said Landon. “So that situation, that was the only congregant living and the most vulnerable individuals were in it. And we messed it up until we figured it out.”
Now that advanced testing, isolated living and strict rule following has yielded progress for seniors, the question is: Can colleges learn and apply what was learned to flatted the campus curve?
Landon said large gatherings with no masks and no distancing isn’t really happening on the land schools’ control.
“Nursing homes are doing well now,” Landon said. “That’s not happening on college campuses that I can see. It’s happening just off campus.”
Eighteen to 29 year olds trying to salvage the hallmarks of youth, while retaining the safety mechanisms of being in college during COVID.
“It’s giving up these sort of milestones for individuals that are younger, it’s tough to ask them to do that,” Landon said.
She added that we need to reset as a nation, we need a clear message that focuses on science: A national mask mandate when case counts hit a trigger in a region. Hard and fast metrics in Chicago and Illinois could be stronger,but not the case nationwide.