CHICAGO (CBS) —Within the next week, college kids from across the country will be flying or driving home for Thanksgiving.

So what should parents do? Quarantine their kids?

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CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra digs into the struggle many families are facing.

We are told to stick with who’s in our house right now. But college students will be reentering their homes and there’s natural fear that they could be exposing their families to the virus and that requires some strategy.

If you’re the parent of a college student, odds are you are feeling…

“Stressed! Stressed out.”

Flo Merkl-Deutch’s oldest son is at the University of Missouri.

“Sending your first born off to college in the midst of a pandemic is, it’s just not fun.”

Maybe not for her, but Richard Deutsch is enjoying it.

“It’s already fun, and hopefully when COVID goes away it’ll be even more fun,” he said.

The freshman unfortunately caught the virus midway through this semester. But he and his classmates are still vigilant, as they prepare to head home for Thanksgiving.

“I definitely had a lot of friends be a lot stricter about what they’ve been doing these last couple weeks just so they don’t bring it back,” Deutch said.

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One doctor said another option is wearing a mask inside during that two-week time period. She said it remains the best way to prevent the virus spread.

So if you haven’t had this talk your student, said Dr. Nimmi Rajagopal with Cook County Health Department, the time to do it is now.

“It’s giving people at least some time before they come home to stop and think ‘I need to take precautions,'” said Rajagopal.

And even once they’e home‚ the threat is not over.

“If they are coming from somewhere that needs to quarantine it means really quarantine,” Rajagopal said. It doesn’t mean sitting down for meals and everyone eating at the same time because that puts you back at risk.”

We do know some schools are trying to help families have healthy holidays. Northern Illinois is offering free COVID tests for students before they head home. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is asking those who travel to finish the semester remotely. UIC moved most classes online Friday. Roosevelt will do the same on Monday.

Mizzou will go mostly virtual too, which is one less thing for Merkl-Deutsch to worry about.

“They decided yesterday that they would keep them home through Christmas. I am very grateful for that,” she said.

As her son and millions of other students come home and stay home for the holiday.

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