Tips for slowing the spread as college students return home


LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — As college students come home for the holidays, a parent’s first instinct is usually to welcome them with a big hug, but this year, health officials are saying that’s maybe not the best idea.

Many college students have been advised to self-isolate and get tested before returning home, but Loudoun County Health Director, Dr. David Goodfriend, explains ways students can continue to keep their families safe once they’re home.

“Stay distant. Don’t have a hug be the first thing as you come into the home. Keep six-foot distancing in the home, you may also want to wear masks inside the home, because we have to assume that someone in that house could be infectious,” said Goodfriend.

Katy Macklin, a college student from Leesburg, has gone above and beyond to keep her family safe, “I got tested a couple days ago through the College of Charleston and all of my family, my close immediate family members, my dad, my mom, and my brother got tested as well. So we’re all negative.”

Macklin said her dad will be picking her up by car to stay on the safe side before coming home to Leesburg for Thanksgiving.

“On Thanksgiving, I think we’re going to do a social distanced thing with my grandparents, so it will just be the six of us…hopefully outside with lawn chairs and something like that,” stated Macklin.

Macklin said her parents plan to disinfect the home before she arrives. When asked about the frequency of disinfecting surfaces, Dr. Goodfriend’s response may surprise you, “That’s important to do, but not nearly as important as what we found as person to person transmission.”

Dr. Goodfriend believes distance is vital to slowing the spread, especially for upcoming family gatherings.

“If you are going to have a family dinner, one, if it’s a nice day, do it outside because outside is safer than inside. If you are inside, then look at how far apart you can spread out and still enjoy each other’s company.”

For more useful tips and information, click here.

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