Because of the pandemic, many college students are coming home to finish the semester, either because of cases on campus, or because colleges are sending everyone home for Thanksgiving and not having them come back until the next term.
This situation requires some thought and planning, so as to keep everyone safe — and sane. Here are some things families need to think about.
Will your college student bring the COVID-19 virus home with them?
Many colleges have been having outbreaks, and infections can be asymptomatic. How you handle the return of college students to your household depends on the situation at their school, the possibility of exposures, and how often they have been tested. If cases are low and they are tested regularly (once a week at least), the risk is far less than if the case numbers are high and testing is sporadic. Make sure you find out the situation at the school, and before coming home your student should isolate as much as possible for as long as possible (two weeks would be ideal, but that may not be realistic), and get tested within a few days of the planned return home. If they have any symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact student health services and be tested before making any plans to come home.
How safe is their trip home?
The best way for them to come home is by a one-day trip in the car (theirs or yours), with minimal stops and nobody but them or you in the car. If they have to fly, or if the drive involves overnight stays, that increases the risk.
What state requirements will they need to follow?
Many states require quarantine on arrival; if you don’t know your state’s requirements, find out.
What about testing?
Remember that testing