Spring 2021: What We Have Learned About COVID-19
What we have learned from the fall semester of 2020 that can help our clients as they potentially re-open in 2021:
- Most campus outbreaks have been related to small and large gatherings without masking and without social distancing and have occurred in bars, in on and off campus residences, and in Greek housing.
- Students with COVID-19 are frequently asymptomatic so universal masking, physical distancing and contact tracing with testing will help prevent transmission.
- The virus is primarily transmitted via aerosols/droplets; therefore, property physical distancing in groups will help minimize the spread, along with universal mask requirements.
- Ventilation is critical to reducing the transmission of the virus.
- There is little evidence to show secondary transmission is occurring in student-to-student in instructional settings.
- Though the issue with surface exposure has been shown to pose a lesser threat, high touch areas should still be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- It is essential to get the students involved in the public health practices and plans for the chapter house.
- Students must be involved in planning, messaging and the development of safer social activities. Review our Planning Safer Events resource.
- Herd immunity will only be achieved with widespread public acceptance of the vaccine.
- Universities who provide frequent testing for COVID-19 asymptomatic or presymptomatic students enhance the health, safety, and well-being of the campus and broader community.
- If a chapter house does allow for quarantined members, the room should have private bathroom facilities and be supplied with a thermometer, sanitizing wipes, tissue, soap, hand sanitizers and toiletries.
As in all things during the pandemic, it is critical that you be aware of what your national organizations and institutions are doing in terms of COVID-19 guidance and recommendations. The Greek system continues to be looked at for their leadership, and it is a great opportunity for the Greeks on every campus to show their support for the well-being of the fellow students, the campus and the broader community.
We also recommend that you review the American College Health Association’s Guidelines for Reopening for Institutes of Higher Education for the Spring Semester 2021.