Colleges Take Steps to Keep Students From Taking COVID-19 Home With Them Over Holidays

Many universities are offering free COVID testing, and not having students return until after winter break.

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Thousands of college students will head home next week for Thanksgiving break. But during a pandemic, there's a risk that students could bring COVID-19 home with them.

North Texas universities shared steps they’re taking to prevent students from taking coronavirus from campuses back to their communities.

SMU junior Champ Johnson lives on campus, but he's soon heading home to stay in Carrollton for Thanksgiving break.

He said he's doing everything he can to stay COVID-19-free.

“I’ve tried my best to stay socially distant and in my room. And only going to places I absolutely have to go. I’m not too concerned, but at the same time, I want to mitigate the risk,” Johnson said.

This year’s Johnson family gathering won’t be as big.  

Johnson said he’s worried about his grandmother contracting COVID-19.  

“That’s who I’m really concerned about. She has diabetes,” he said.

University of North Texas students won't return to campus after Thanksgiving. Instead, they’ll take finals online and return after winter break.  

Dr. Cynthia Hermann, executive director for UNT's Health and Wellness Center said students should avoid unnecessary travel this Thanksgiving.

“It’s fine to go home for the holidays to see family, but I wouldn’t add two or three extra trips on top of that," she said. "I wouldn’t make that the time for road trips to visit other friends from other universities."

At TCU, students aren’t required to be tested for COVID-19 before they return home, but it is encouraged.

Starting Monday, TCU began to provide free, contactless, COVID-19 testing on campus. It’s open to students and the public.

Click here to pre-register to be tested at the TCU site. Walk-ins will also be accepted. 

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