Things are uncertain, but education must go on. If your student is one of the many headed off to or back to school, the chances of them having to quarantine or isolate is today’s reality. One of the best things you can do is have a plan in place. Here are a few considerations:
What if they have to leave school?
Consider the quickest way they can get home. The virus is unpredictable, and as college students, there will be gatherings. The administration can only do so much. If the school is unexpectedly shut down, what will they do? Check with the school to see if they have funding available for emergency travel or lodging.
What happens to their belongings?
While we gave you instructions for putting together a “go bag,” the last thing you want is a repeat of what happened when the initial crisis started. The best thing you can do is have a list of storage facilities in the area so their belongings can be moved quickly and secured (if you don’t have time or room for them to bring it home).
What happens if they test positive while on campus?
A number of schools have delegated certain areas for these students to isolate. As a parent, you may not want them to stay at school in that condition. Determine your course of action now so you won’t be thrown off-guard. If you want them to come home, traveling on any form of public transportation is out. Consider the options.
What happens if they need to quarantine once they get home?
Are there spaces in your home where they can separate from the rest of the family for a few weeks? If not, you may want to consider a hotel.
What happens if they get very sick?
You should know what hospital your student will be taken to if they become sick (under the pandemic or in general). Does your student now the different medications they can and cannot take? Do they know their medical history? Are you listed on their HIPAA form?
These are just a few things to consider that can help put a plan of action in motion if needed. Having these types of conversations and empowering them to do the right thing by social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks is important. It only takes one person in the dorm to cause a chain reaction.
Now, send them off to have an AMAZING year!