Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era – ACHA
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly, causing institutions of higher education (IHEs) to evaluate and plan for numerous “what if” scenarios. These guidelines are based on information about COVID-19 that is known today. They are purposely broad for universal use and written with the understanding that not all colleges will have the resources to implement everything written in this document. IHEs should view these guidelines and evaluate the feasibility of these recommendations in the light of their own campus environment, community resources, public health capacity, demographics, internal resources, and risk tolerance. As the pandemic continues, additional guidance will be forthcoming from ACHA.
This sequel to the American College Health Association’s Guidelines: Preparing for COVID-19 addresses administrative, medical, mental health, health promotion/well-being, and campus-wide considerations in reopening college/university campuses as the COVID-19 pandemic abates. Many public health experts and organizations have already developed models and projections using surveillance data, case counts, and infrastructure capability to identify when businesses, schools, campuses, and the country can safely reopen. Individual states in conjunction with public health entities and institutions of higher education (IHE) presidents/chancellors will ultimately determine when to reopen campuses. These ACHA guidelines provide considerations to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection and a recurrent surge of infections as social distancing measures are relaxed on our campuses and in our communities and as we plan for the physical return of large numbers of students, faculty, and staff.