Columbus, OH,
18:00 PM

FOX28: College Students Urged to Take Caution Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when college students come home for the first time since they moved into school. But, because of COVID-19, this year's trip over the river and through the woods needs to look different from a typical trip home.  And the time to start planning is right now.   Joseph Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases recently spoke with ABC6/FOX28 reporter Mike McCarthy about what college students need to do to keep their families safe.  

"The first thing I would do is call the kid remotely and say, 'Hey, make sure you’re doing all the safety bubble things that you should be doing. Don’t go out, make sure you're doing all the physical distancing, wearing a mask, (and) hand hygiene," Dr. Gastaldo told McCarthy.

Live in the Buckeye State but have an out-of-state college student?   Dr. Gastaldo recommends families review Ohio's Travel Advisory Map, which shows what states have a COVID-19 positivity rate of 15 percent or higher.  It's recommended that people travelling from those states states self-quarantine for 14 days.

But no matter what college your child comes home from, Dr. Gastaldo says that families should wear masks (even in the home when the student is around), keep six feet or more of social distancing and wash their hands. 

"When a college student returns home from going away to school, it's as if you’re taking in a person who’s not lived in your house who could potentially have asymptomatic COVID-19," Dr. Gastaldo said.. "That’s why wearing a mask for that person and doing any other mitigation strategies is important."

To see the full story from ABC6, including to learn what the "wild card" is for this situation, click the FOX28 logo below.