Medical experts around the nation are pushing back against college administrators that have blamed campus spikes in the number of positive coronavirus tests on students. Experts claim that administrators need to set reasonable expectations by adopting strategies that attempt to reduce the spread rather than eliminate it entirely. For example, some experts have encouraged colleges and universities to plan outdoor activities rather than banning gatherings altogether.
According to a report by NBC News, experts in various fields from around the nation are scrutinizing the conduct of university and college administrators that have blamed students for recent spikes in positive coronavirus tests.
Breitbart News reported in August that the University of Pittsburgh had suspended eight students for violating coronavirus mitigation policies. A university spokesperson claimed that students that violated the policies had put the entire community at risk.
Harvard infectious disease epidemiologist Julia Marcus was one of the first to point out that administrators are blaming students when the number of positive tests spikes. According to Marcus, the spikes are a result of administrator’s poor planning and unrealistic expectations.
“What we’re seeing now is that a lot of school administrators are blaming their students for their failure of their own public health plan, which I think is unconscionable,” Marcus stated.
Marcus claims that universities are failing to meet the social needs of their students. “If universities really want students to stop having indoor parties, they need to provide opportunities for students to stay socially connected that are lower-risk,” Marcus argued.
Many experts agree with Marcus. Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, urged administrators to stop blaming students for their failures. “It’s the adults’ responsibility,” Khan said. “So do not blame students for your inability to do what you need to do — which is drive down cases.”
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