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How college students can safely return home for Thanksgiving break

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 9:56 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - While many students are heading home from college for Thanksgiving break this week, heath officials have recommendations for how to safely spend the holidays with your family.

UCHealth officials recommend college students quarantine for two weeks and stay distanced from family members within your home. Just because someone tests negative for COVID-19, does not mean they are in the clear.

“A test only tells you about one point in time. So, someone who is pre-symptomatic (about to have symptoms) or asymptomatic (doesn’t have any symptoms) may have a false negative test and have this false reassurance, and then potentially expose family members,” said Dr. Larissa Pisney of UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

When coming home, try and minimize interactions while traveling and consider driving, if possible. College students should avoid interacting with anyone possibly at-risk, such as grandparents or sick family members.

“You have to take into account the behaviors of everyone that would be coming to that table so have those college students been in risky places, going to parties or around other friends, living in a dorm, was their school doing testing? You have to think about all of those things,” said Pisney.

Families should try and have Thanksgiving dinner outside, if possible, and avoid sharing food and drinks. Also, try to get a flu shot.

In a press release, UCHealth officials say going off to college is already a challenging experience in a “normal” year, from homesickness to academics. During the pandemic as many colleges switched to online learning, parents should watch out for signs of stress, anxiety or depression from their kids.

“The best thing to keep in mind is if we don’t travel this year, if we don’t have Thanksgiving gatherings this year, we can make it to that vaccine, make it to herd immunity and we can all gather together next year. without families being impacted by this virus this year,” said Pisney.

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