To prevent the spread of Kovid-19, colleges should be careful, warn health officials

Federal and state health officials warned of the danger when young people are infected with the new coronovirus, and strengthened measures to limit recommended university and college transmission.

Colleges around the country have struggled with the Kovid-19 outbreak, including campuses in Georgia, Texas and Iowa. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which suffered several outbreaks last month, is one of the schools that decided to send students home, with health officials saying they could spread the infection in their communities.

Young people are less likely to have serious cases of Kovid-19, but they can infect older people in their families and communities who come in contact with a serious illness due to age or health conditions. Public-health officials at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention have written in two separate studies published Tuesday in the CDC’s Morbity and Mortality Weekly report.

Young adults are also less likely than other age groups to follow Covid-19 prevention measures, CDC officials said in a study, a challenge for school administrators and public-health officials.

Given the risks, CDC officials recommended stronger, more comprehensive security strategies, including using social media to tell young people about wearing masks, social distinctions, and the importance of hand washing.

In a second study, CDC and North Carolina health officials, as well as researchers at the University of North Carolina, called for greater enforcement of mask requirements and increased testing, and suggested reducing the density of on-campus housing.

“This does not mean that colleges and universities cannot open for in-person instruction,” said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health. Instead, he said, schools need to implement measures that suggest research can sustain transmission over the bay.

Brown University is testing its students twice a week, saying they have the necessary monitoring to identify those infected but they are not showing symptoms before the virus spreads widely.

At a Monday press conference, President Trump announced that the federal government would deliver 150 million rapid coronavirus tests in the coming weeks to help vulnerable populations and states with open economies and schools. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

Some supporters of school and university indicate a lower risk of reunification young people who are developing serious cases of infection. In the new studies, health officials and researchers posed broader risks to contacts and community members that college students took.

One of the studies stated that one percent of young adults between 18 and 22 years of age live with parents. About 50% attend colleges and universities, and 33% of them live with parents.

According to the study, weekly cases among people between 18 and 22 years of age increased 55% across the US.

“It is likely that some of this increase is associated with the resumption of in-person attendance at some colleges and universities,” the authors wrote.

The authors, who work for the CDC, stated that more trials cannot account for the increasing number. The authors said that the percentage of college-aged students doubled in August, while the test increased by 1-fold.

In a second study, researchers at the CDC, North Carolina Department of Health, and the University of North Carolina reported that 670 laboratory-confirmed cases of Kovid-19 were reported within three weeks of opening the campus. In addition, 18 groups of five or more cases popped up within 14 days of each other.

The authors did not name the university, but its descriptions correspond to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where six authors work.

The authors wrote “rapid increase in cases” underscores the urgent need to implement comprehensive mitigation strategies. This means they added, enforcing masking requirements, reducing the density of campus housing, discouraging student ceremonies and increasing testing.

Write Sara Toy at [email protected]

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