Early spring campus scene at Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana.
(Photo by: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

College Students Returning Home Urged to Quarantine

(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana college students are heading home. The state health department says they should be extra careful not to turn themselves into coronavirus superspreaders.

Universities are finishing the semester at home after Thanksgiving break — IU won’t bring students back to campus until February 8. Several schools are testing students for COVID before they go home, and state health commissioner Kristina Box is urging others to follow suit. But Box cautions the virus typically doesn’t show up on tests for five-to-seven days after exposure. She says students returning home should act as if they’ve got the virus, and quarantine for the first two weeks, wearing a mask even at home.

Box notes the two-week quarantine corresponds to what several states have ordered for visitors from out of state. Even after the isolation period, Box recommends keeping your social bubble small, not racing out to the bars to reconnnect with friends.

Box is encouraging students to use their extended time at home to help with the pandemic response as substitute teachers or contact tracers.

Indiana has had more than 12,000 COVID cases on college campuses, about one of every 22 cases overall. IU’s main campus in Bloomington, with the state’s largest enrollment, has had the most cases with more than 3,700, including about 200 last week.

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