It's no surprise that the US was simply not prepared for the reopening of colleges across the country. A lack of national leadership, in response to the national coronavirus pandemic, left many universities with no clear guidance on fall reopening plans for students. The CNN reports that cases of college-aged students skyrocketed in August and September, despite many schools relying on online and hybrid learning classes. (Johnson) Universities in the US may see faster progress by focusing their gaze on a few critical universities across the globe. Instead of modeling university health and safety protocols off of US universities, schools may see greater benefits if they choose to examine research and effective guidelines overseas.
I've chosen to highlight four international universities who's successes may be critical for the safety of US students in the coming months.
University of Guelph - Ontario
The Globe and Mail
The University of Guelph in Ontario has begun testing wastewater from campus residences for early signs of COVID-19. Testing detects levels of COVID-19 in human feces. The university hopes testing can help with early actions against potential outbreaks. Testing began last week at five campus residences, where about 2000 students live. The testing can not see where in the building the virus is coming from, only that someone living there may be infected. (CTV News)
Tel Aviv University - Israel
Research from Tel Aviv University, released on Tuesday, shows that timely social distancing is more critical than enforcing severe lockdowns in reducing the mortality of the coronavirus. Data was collected by comparing cellphone mobility data and data on COVID-19 mortality. Results could have far reaching policy implications. (The Jerusalem Post)
Khalifa University - United Arab Emirates
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have developed a COVID-19 testing kit that is portable and can deliver results in around 45 minutes. A simple color change shows the results and needs minimal knowledge to effectively operate. These PCR tests are in the validation stage but, may be used after the coronavirus pandemic is over to detect other viruses as well. (Gulf News)
University of Manchester - England
The University of Manchester researchers are using their knowledge on immunology to see how different patient groups may develop various forms of COVID-19. A professor working on the current project explains, "The immune system underpins your ability to clear the virus, but it also underpins the severity of the disease that you get. We have a team of researchers willing to handle these infections in order to help expedite this knowledge and improve patient outcomes." (The University of Manchester)
By looking at research from regions of the world that have seen success in combating the coronavirus, the US may benefit in surprising ways.