Thursday, August 4, 2022
Wall Street Journal, Colleges Scale Back Covid Precautions for Fall, Saying Pandemic Phase Over:
Colleges this fall are no longer treating Covid-19 as an emergency upending their operations, shifting to eliminate mask requirements and mandatory coronavirus testing and letting students who contract the virus isolate in their dorms with their roommates.
With easy access to vaccinations and low hospitalization rates among college-aged adults—even during the latest surge in BA.5 subvariant cases—administrators said it is time to lift or at least rethink restrictions and redefine the virus as endemic, not a pandemic. That means scaling back mass testing, removing bans on large indoor gatherings and preparing for a fall term that more closely resembles life before Covid.
Another issue driving the decisions is exhaustion, according to public-health experts and academics on several campuses. Students and staff have been subjected to two years of daily health checks, weekly trots to a testing center and a roller coaster of mask protocols.