Cornell to help train state’s pioneering public health corps
After a long and challenging fall, colleges learned a few important lessons about how Covid-19 spreads on their campuses, and what might work to reduce student cases. Widespread vaccination is on the horizon, as the gradual rollout of two vaccines in the U.S. may herald a return to some sense of normalcy by late 2021. At the same time, infection rates are spiking across the country, which is still waiting to realize the full toll of possible case surges from winter holiday gatherings. In addition, a new variant of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious has emerged, and is expected to spread quickly across the United States.
Hospitals are being overrun as another wave of Covid-19 infections is filling available beds and stretching intensive-care units. And university teaching hospitals aren’t immune to the surge. A Chronicle analysis has found that one in five hospitals that were overcrowded as of December 17 are teaching hospitals. Eighteen such hospitals, including ones affiliated with the Universities of Oklahoma and Florida, are overflowing with patients, with more than 100 percent of their beds filled.
Selfish, hard-partying students make an easy villain. Uncovering the truth about Covid-19’s spread, on campus and off, is harder.
Tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. A New York Times survey of more than 1,900 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed more than 397,000 cases and at least 90 deaths since the pandemic began. More than 6,600 cases were identified in the athletic departments of the 130 universities that compete at the highest level of Division I football.
New projections released today showing more students graduating from high school than had been previously expected are good news for higher education, where traditional-aged 18- to 24-year-old students make or break budgets for many colleges and universities. But they don’t change the outlook for a sector that has for decades relied on a steadily growing pipeline of students. Higher education will soon face shrinking cohorts of traditional-aged students, whose enrollment has long been key to making budgets balance. The sector may not be able to kick the can down the road and avoid fixing its creaky business model much longer.
Although the University’s website boasts that Cornell is “unmatched” in making transfers feel welcome in the Ivy League, transitioning to life on the Hill, mostly on a screen, meant some felt less than welcome this fall. Cornell consistently accepts 500 to 600 transfer students each semester, and they experience a wealth of resources to help them transition to Cornell beyond the typical circumstances of a first-year Orientation Week in August.
Many colleges are now announcing new shifts to online learning that will continue for the rest of the semester.By
Lilah Burke November 17, 2020
The United States is entering its worst period for COVID-19 infections to date. On Friday, the nation set a new record for daily infections, reporting more than 184,000 in one day. Experts have long predicted that the winter would be worse for infections, leading to more outbreaks across the country. And they also predicted that the wave would not bypass American colleges and universities.
Rice University’s Secret for Containing the Coronavirus: A Student-Run Court That Prosecutes Rule Breakers
The COVID Community Court has helped enforce social distancing and wearing of masks. But some undergrads say the feeling of being watched has become another cost of the pandemic. The two undergraduates had been accused of a bold infraction of the rules: sneaking a friend from across campus into their dorm room for some late-night socializing. As recently as last spring, nobody would’ve cared. But this semester, with Rice University officials determined to prevent a coronavirus outbreak that might shut down the school, students are not only forbidden from entering dorms they don’t live in; they’re not allowed to move between floors in their own residential building.