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Article

Risk Management of COVID-19 in the Residential Educational Setting: Lessons Learned and Implications for Moving Forward

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Department of Health Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Division of Student Life, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Department of Philosophy, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Furman Earle Student Health Center, Prisma Health, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Office of Academic Affairs, Department of Economics, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Office of Academic Affairs, Department of Chemistry, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chia-Lin Chang, Daniel J. Slottje and Teodosio Pérez Amaral
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189743
Received: 30 July 2021 / Revised: 13 September 2021 / Accepted: 13 September 2021 / Published: 16 September 2021
With limited COVID-19-guidelines for institutions of higher education (IHEs), colleges and universities began the 2020–2021 academic year with varying approaches. We present a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation approach at a residential university during the 2020–2021 academic year, along with campus SARS-CoV-2 transmission during this time. Risk management of COVID-19 was facilitated through (1) a layered approach of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention measures; (2) a robust committee structure leveraging institutional public health expertise; (3) partnerships with external health entities; and (4) an operations system providing both structure and flexibility to adapt to changes in disease activity, scientific evidence, and public health guidelines. These efforts collectively allowed the university to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission on campus and complete the academic year offering in-person learning on a residential campus. We identified 36 cases of COVID-19 among the 2037 in-person learners during the fall semester, 125 cases in the inter-semester break, and 169 cases among 2095 in-person learners during the spring semester. SARS-CoV-2 infection during the academic year was associated with gender (p = 0.04), race/ethnicity (p = 0.01), and sorority/fraternity membership (p < 0.01). Infection was not associated with undergraduate vs. graduate student status, Division I athlete status, or housing type (all p > 0.05). A multi-faceted public health approach was critical for reducing the impact of COVID-19 while carrying out the university’s educational mission. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; prevention and mitigation; university student health COVID-19; prevention and mitigation; university student health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cass, A.L.; Slining, M.M.; Carson, C.; Cassidy, J.; Epright, M.C.; Gilchrist, A.E.; Peterson, K.; Wheeler, J.F.; The, N.S. Risk Management of COVID-19 in the Residential Educational Setting: Lessons Learned and Implications for Moving Forward. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9743. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189743

AMA Style

Cass AL, Slining MM, Carson C, Cassidy J, Epright MC, Gilchrist AE, Peterson K, Wheeler JF, The NS. Risk Management of COVID-19 in the Residential Educational Setting: Lessons Learned and Implications for Moving Forward. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9743. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189743

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cass, Anna L., Meghan M. Slining, Connie Carson, Jason Cassidy, M. C. Epright, Ann E. Gilchrist, Kenneth Peterson, John F. Wheeler, and Natalie S. The 2021. "Risk Management of COVID-19 in the Residential Educational Setting: Lessons Learned and Implications for Moving Forward" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9743. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189743

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