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3 things to do to protect your family from COVID when your college student comes home

Thanksgiving dinner, Photo Date: 11/25/2010 / Cropped Photo: vxla / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
Thanksgiving dinner, Photo Date: 11/25/2010 / Cropped Photo: vxla / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 9:05 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As college students pack up for Thanksgiving, they’re hoping they don’t take COVID home with them.

Universities across the country are ending the semester before Thanksgiving, or moving all classes and finals online after the holiday. That means students are headed home through January.

Caleb Ediger is the Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at Butler Community College. His students are not only in school, but also working in healthcare facilities. He says they are nervous about being around family through November and December.

Ediger says students can do three things to protect their family from COVID:

  1. Limit exposure as much as possible. Starting now, don’t engage in high-risk activities. Completely quarantining may not be possible for all students, however. They may have classes and jobs they have to show up for.
  2. Get a COVID test. Ediger encourages students to check for testing through their college or university. Even after getting a negative test, Ediger still encourages students to be cautious around others. He says it can take 24-36 hours for those exposed to COVID to have a high enough viral load.
  3. Quarantine at home. Ediger says this is the most important step. He recommends college students returning home distance themselves from family members until their quarantine period is complete. “If you have a separate part of the house that you can be in like a basement or where you can be separated from your family for that quarantine. Wear a mask around them, use your hand hygiene wash your hands use hand sanitizer. Don’t share drinks, don’t share plates and dishes,” he says. The CDC suggests a 14 day quarantine for anyone exposed to COVID or showing symptoms.

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