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As US reopens, campuses tighten restrictions for virus

Burlington, Vermont (AP) — Maskmandates, nasal swabs, and distance classes take about a year, and at the University of Vermont, the mood is as the school cracks down on social distance and face covering rules amid a surge in student COVID I was nervous. 19 cases.

Students said they were standing in another student’s doorway, walking in the bathroom in the hallway without a mask, and igniting a student-led petition that blasted “strict and inhumane living conditions.” I was handed hundreds of citations.

“You start choking as I’m afraid to leave my room,” freshman Patrick Wales said in an interview on campus.

Despite deregulation in much of the United States, universities are taking new steps to monitor campus life as the virus spreads to students, one of the last adults to get the vaccine. Administrators say they need to act urgently to avoid risking early termination of the semester or sending infected students home to spread COVID-19.

In recent weeks, the University of Michigan has punished hundreds of students who missed mandatory virus tests by revoking access cards to non-residential buildings. Cornell University has announced that students will not be able to access campus Wi-Fi, teaching materials, and facilities that were absent from virus testing. The University of Chicago closed the dormitory for seven days and moved classes online after discovering more than 50 cases within a few days.

Measures are taken when managers assess whether a direct graduation ceremony is feasible, how students are vaccinated, and whether shots are a requirement. The onset of warm weather and the relaxation of restrictions outside the campus gate pose additional challenges.

After recording 200 cases in the first two weeks of April, North Carolina Agricultural Technology State University eliminated face-to-face meals and banned visitors from campus dwellings. The Governor lifted the obligation to use outdoor masks and doubled the mass gathering limit, allowing 100 indoors and 200 outdoors, but the university worked with law enforcement agencies to “Aggy Attempted to close an off-campus event billed as a “fest” celebration. Todd Simmons, deputy governor of the university, said the target students.

“There are two things we are trying to win over our students. First, let’s not cancel the start with some kind of last-minute surge in COVID infection. Second, COVID. Don’t miss the chance to bring the infection home, “Simmons said.

The Historically Black Colleges have also encouraged students to be vaccinated on campus and invited speakers to address vaccine hesitation.

At the University of Vermont, just under 100 students were virus-positive in the fall semester. However, the number surged in the spring, and by this semester more than 680 students had been infected. Gary Dare, vice president of operations and public security, said the fall semester was off to a smooth start as it was warm enough for students to interact outside.

“We came back in the spring and got stuck indoors,” he said. There was no spring break to look forward to like many campuses. The university did not want students to bring the virus home.

UVM students agree to pledge to comply with school rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Violations can lead to fines, probation, or suspension of repeated violations. Six students were suspended this spring and 23 were completely suspended, but after the school agreed to confirm the case, they were expelled from campus and could only attend classes remotely. I will.

When tulips and daffodils bloom on campus, students are instructed to continue habits such as social distance and wearing masks. At the COVID-19 Testing Center, where students are tested twice a week, the banner says “It’s up to us” and “Thank you for playing your part.”

According to students, the warm climate makes it easier to see friends and classmates on campus, but at the expense of fear of being punished.

“If you go somewhere on campus and get confused, such as getting too close to someone or having a mask under your nose, you could be fined or suspended. Wales, Hopkinton, Massachusetts. “And I don’t think the UVM administration really realizes that. They’re just trying to look good.”

When hundreds of young people rushed to Burlington Beach on the second weekend of April, student Gary Sinclair in St. Johnsbury, Vermont saw it as a sort of rebellion against the crackdown.

“We were really working hard to keep the school open and allow them to make money,” Sinclair said. If you try to intimidate us with fear and fines, kick us out, and try to do that, we all go to the beach and you are not going to kick us all out. “

In late April, Derr announced that UVM infection rates had dropped significantly, allowing multiple households of UVM students to live on and off campus.

Nicole Hardy said the students hadn’t lost sight of the virus, but over time it became insensitive.

“I still see people entering the quarantine every week, and I know there are still people who are sick …. So there seems to be a long-standing concern,” she said. “But now, I think people are overwhelmingly prioritizing socializing.”

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