Student gatherings and congregate living settings likely contribute to the rapid spread of COVID-19 at universities, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Universities that resume in-person learning should reduce the capacity of on-campus housing, increase consistent use of masks, increase testing for COVID-19 and discourage student gatherings, the authors of the CDC report concluded.
The report looked at one university in North Carolina that experienced a “rapid increase of COVID-19 cases and clusters” within two weeks of opening campus to students.
Between August 3 and 25, nearly 700 COVID-19 cases were identified, mostly among patients 22 or younger, suggesting most cases were among undergraduate students.
While the report doesn’t name the university — a common practice for CDC reports — the demographics and statistics listed match up with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which ended in-person instruction two weeks