A National Call For College COVID Safe Zones: How Higher Education Leaders Can Accelerate America’s Vaccination Push — and Keep Their Campuses Open

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Op-Ed

A National Call For College COVID Safe Zones: How Higher Education Leaders Can Accelerate America’s Vaccination Push — and Keep Their Campuses Open

Published date

August 18, 2021

As students return to colleges and universities this fall, the highly communicable Delta variant of COVID-19 creates unexpected challenges to keep campuses safe and open. Higher education leaders now need to respond rapidly to protect their students, staff, faculty, and people with whom they come in contact.

Everyone recognizes the benefits of in-person learning, but to get there requires some tough and important decisions. Former officials from the last five Administrations and health experts have joined together across political parties and sectors to lay out the best response by creating #COVIDSafeZones.

Colleges and universities are well positioned to help communities and the country beat this pandemic. Higher education institutions employ over 3 million Americans and are attended by more than 19 million students. Youth ages 18-24 have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation. College campuses, by their nature, are “congregate settings” at high risk for infectious disease transmission, and especially those not protected by vaccines are becoming infected faster, from more limited contact.

Read the full op-ed here.

Duke-Margolis Affiliated Authors

Mark McClellan

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD

Director of Margolis Center
Robert J. Margolis, MD, Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy
Margolis Executive Core Faculty