COVID-19 Response Strategies at Large Institutes of Higher Education in the United States: A Landscape Analysis, Fall 2020.
PURPOSE: To examine the pandemic response plans of institutes of higher education (i.e., colleges and universities), including COVID-19 prevention, enforcement, and testing strategies. METHOD: Data from the largest public (n = 50) and private (n = 50) US institutes of higher education were collected from October 30 to November 20, 2020. RESULTS: Most institutes of higher education (n = 93) offered some in-person teaching in the Fall 2020 semester; most adopted masking (100%) and physical distancing (99%) mandates. Other preventive strategies included on-campus housing de-densification (58%), classroom de-densification (61%), mandated COVID-19-related training (39%), and behavioral compacts (43%). Testing strategies included entry testing (65%), testing at regular intervals (32%), population sample testing (46%), and exit testing (15%). More private than public institutes implemented intercollegiate athletics bans, behavioral compacts, and suspension clauses for noncompliance. CONCLUSIONS: Variability in COVID-19 prevention and testing strategies highlights the need for national recommendations and the equitable distribution of sufficient pandemic response resources to institutes of higher education.
Freeman, S; Nguyen, T-V; Beliveau, J; Chung, RJ; Armstrong, S; Wolfe, C; Cholera, R; Wong, CA
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