A new analysis released Friday by USA Today has found that college campuses are reducing the largest coronovirus outbreaks across the United States.
Among the 25 hottest outbreaks in America, communities with major colleges and thousands of recently returned students represent 19 of them.
Harrisonburg, Va., Home of James Madison University, topped the list with 1,562 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people within the last two weeks.
Washington State University, Central Texas College, Georgia Southern University and Iowa State University are among the top five regions with large college populations, where cases have seen a spike.
Many schools, like the University of Mississippi, began the fall semester with a mix of in-person and online classes in an effort to prevent an outbreak, the analysis noted. However, a wave of students returning to Lafayette County in Mississippi has triggered 1,053 coronovirus cases, according to the analysis.
Located in the college town of Pullman, Wash., Washington State, even students are not allowed to take in-person classes, USA Today reported. The university asked students to stay home to continue virtual learning, but many students had already signed leases and would need to pay.
“We don’t have the right to tell students where they can and cannot stay,” said spokesman Phil Weiler. “Our students are young adults. We need them to make the right decisions.”
According to officials, community prevalence is highest due to students interacting in apartments or crowded bars.
According to the county’s Public Health Director Troy Henderson, only 70 cases per 100,000 residents were reported in Whitman County in late July before Washington State students returned to the area.
“Henderson said,” about 12,000 young adults stepped into a very small rural town, and now Locality is reporting 1,295 cases in the last two weeks.
Despite an increase in cases, the Trump administration pushed colleges and universities to remain open.
President TrumpDONALD JOHN TRUMPWAREN: I think Trump does not share classified information after the Woodward book that Trump told the epidemic NYT reporter removed from Trump’s rally in Michigan On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference called for schools to play football this season, saying it was “very safe for students living on campus,” despite many schools reporting an outbreak on campus and many of them The students were sent home due to the outbreak.
“The alternative is not good, going home, spreading the virus to high-risk Americans. They want to be on campus, they want to go back to school and parents want them to come back to school, maybe more than they want to come back to school.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Big Ten school, announced Wednesday that it was shifting to two-week distance instruction and sending all residents to residence halls due to an increase in positive exam results.
Penn State University, another Big Ten school, also said that this week it will stop team activities indefinitely for several events after testing positive for 48 athletes.