COVID-19: Third of US students feel campus reopening not safe

COVID-19: Third of US students feel campus reopening not safe

As US HEIs plan campus reopening for Fall 2020 term, almost a third of students have said they don’t feel safe returning to campus at this stage due to COVID-19.

31% of surveyed US students stated that they are highly concerned about contracting COVID-19 should they return to campus.

In an online survey commissioned by ValuePenguin, 1,050 full-time students currently studying at US colleges were surveyed during the period of 17 to 21 July 2020.

The survey aimed to assess the feeling of students as they look to returning to their colleges for the first time since their forced closure, and concerns surrounding health implications of doing so.

A recent IIE study also found that 84% of US HEIs anticipated that there may be an early end to the Fall 2020 semester due to the possibility of a COVID-19 second wave.

1 in 5 US students don’t trust campus healthcare facilities to protect from COVID-19

A key component of the associated concern with returning to the college is students’ doubt surrounding their school’s health facilities, as 11% of respondents stated that they had been previously misdiagnosed by these on-site health workers.

More than 1 in 5 respondents explicitly do not trust their school’s on-campus health facility to provide suitable healthcare, while a further 57% only have partial trust in these facilities.

As such, many respondents disputed the fact that these campus health facilities after reopening would be able to provide them with suitable care and treatment in the instance that they do contract COVID-19.

Other concerns that were reported by these surveyed students include concern or outright distrust of their classmates’ ability to follow health guidelines (reported by over half of students), doubt of the school’s health services’ ability to treat sick students (78%) and a lack of essential communication from school officials (32%).

Many students have found the previous months of lockdown and social distancing personally challenging too, as 21% of respondents said that, almost all of the time, they felt lonely almost all of the time. A further 28% said that they felt lonely for about half of the time during this period.

Other issues that are being faced by returning students include issues with their off-campus medical insurance, as just 29% of college students understand what is and is not covered under their health insurance, with regards to Coronavirus.

Pic: Edwin Hooper

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at

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