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Blog | 06.17.20

Back to School: Re-opening College Campuses in the Wake of COVID-19

 

In the wake of COVID-19, students everywhere are challenged by the changing landscape of their education. In particular, first-year students face an important decision: where will I spend the next four years? As states continue to slowly reopen, the prospect of arriving on campus as-planned seems promising. Yet this decision burdens institutions with a heavy responsibility: ensuring the safety of its students. Universities everywhere are tasked with not only keeping their students safe, but also providing peace of mind for them and their parents as they begin their first semesters of college.

As students and their parents discuss their options for the upcoming semester, there are some important questions they need to consider:

 

Will campuses reopen in time for the fall semester? 

So far, it seems like a mixed bag. While some schools like Cal State are planning on going entirely remote for the fall semester, others like Niagara University seem more optimistic about their abilities to ensure a safe on-campus learning environment. Yet even the latter will have to drastically alter their usual operations, and have entire task forces devoted to implementing safer practices. For universities like Tufts, this includes a hybrid model of remote and on-campus learning.

 

How will I choose the right school to attend? 

For many students, this decision will be heavily influenced by financial factors. That is why the more expensive, private institutions will be under more scrutiny than ever. Private schools often justify their cost with smaller class sizes and certain on-campus perks, so charging the same tuition for zoom lectures would not be a reasonable solution. By the same token, colleges cannot open their campuses in good conscience unless they’re taking every precaution to keep their students safe. That is why post-COVID, health and safety must play a key role in the decision-making process. Ultimately, if students are paying for an on-campus education, they will need to evaluate which colleges and universities are taking the most thorough safety precautions, while still maintaining other qualities that traditionally attract their students.

 

If campuses do open, will it still be safe to attend?

The schools planning to offer on-campus learning in the fall seem to be under no delusions about the seriousness of their responsibility to keep their students safe. Schools everywhere are implementing new safety measures. The CDC has published its recommendations in the guidelines for Institutes of Higher Education which include; reduced capacity in dorm rooms, pre-testing of students and faculty before their return to campus, smaller lectures, and more. Spry Therapeutics is currently working with various institutions (Niagara University being the first) on cleaner bedding solutions, which include its virus-blocking filtered pillows and mattresses. It has become clear that in order to maintain a safe, healthy student body, universities will need to take a whole-campus approach.

 

At Spry Therapeutics, we are committed to working with schools everywhere to ensure a safe, clean living environment for students. Traditionally, students arrive on campus with their own pillows and make their bed upon mattresses that have been used by several students before them. Both the pillow and the mattress they sleep on are typically made with stitched seams and porous materials – allowing for countless germs to accumulate over time. Every time a student lays down on their bed, these germs are expelled into the air around their face. This is unsettling under normal circumstances, but in a post-COVID world, it carries significant health risks for students and their roommates. 

Our filtered pillows and mattress covers are designed to block all viruses, bacteria, mold, and other microbes from getting into their interiors – allowing only clean air to pass through. By implementing our technology on campus, universities are ensuring a cleaner, safer dorm life for their students, providing peace-of-mind for parents, and possibly ensuring the financial stability of the university.

In addition to supplying our filter technology to campuses across the country, our Spry Pure pillow is also available for purchase by students and parents in either memory foam or polyfill.