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College Students Return To Boston Campuses Amid COVID Surge

BOSTON (CBS) - As colleges and universities across the state prepare to welcome back their students to full in person learning, school officials are doing their part to make sure students are well informed and prepared about new COVID-19 protocols and requirements. "I'm kind of nervous because the cases are high recently, but I feel the school will do everything they can do," Boston University student Cerelia Liu said.

Emails to students have gone out and signs are posted everywhere on college campuses. "I am excited, but I am also kind of worried because of all the COVID variants, but I think the university is doing a good job," BU student Malachi Lindrooch said.

All students on campus must be fully vaccinated and in most cases boosted as well.

At Northeastern, students will be tested once a week.

At Boston College, students must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before coming on campus and again before classes begin on January 18. They also are requiring everyone to wear masks both indoors and outdoors while on campus at least until the end of the month.

UMass Memorial Health Medical Director of employee health services Dr. Robert Klugman says these measures are necessary but not foolproof. "They are absolutely necessary and they get us a long way down the road. But obviously we've seen that despite that, we see outbreaks in colleges and universities with parties and get togethers so it's still possible to get and pass this infection around," Dr. Klugman said.

At BU, when students return back on campus, they are required to be tested twice a week. For those who test positive, faculty must provide recordings of the lectures while those students are in isolation.

"Whenever you are positive you are moved to the isolation housing and school will provide recordings of the lecture so I think that is good," Liu said.

Northeastern officials say they are less concerned about positive case counts but instead placing a priority on preventing severe illness and hospitalizations. "If you have symptoms in the COVID spectrum isolate yourself. Seek student health services but don't just sit around and say its allergies and or cold it needs to be taken seriously," Dr. Klugman said.

Students on all campuses say they are willing to do whatever it takes to stay with in-person learning and avoid going back to remote. "I am a music major it has to be in person. Virtually learning last year is incredibly hard and not the same," Malachi Lindrooch said.

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