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The New Normal: Student Packs 'Quarantine Backpack' As She Heads To College

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Sending your child off to college has likely never been more nerve-racking than it is during this pandemic. There are now more questions and concerns regarding choosing the right college.

Brooklyn Lewis is preparing to leave Elk Grove for Loyola University in New Orleans, but her bags aren't filled with the usual things for college. Her school asked each student to fill a backpack with things they'd need just in case they suddenly had to quarantine.

"I don't know if a lot of colleges have thought about that. Loyola spoke with health care providers, they talked with the state about what are the rules and regulations," said Brooklyn's Mom, Tara.

Seeking out a school in the age of COVID-19 brought a whole new level of standards for the Lewis family.

READ: Schools Close In California County After Virus List Issue

"I'm entrusting you to take care of the most precious thing I have in the world," said Tara.

Tara says she gets emails several times a week updating health safety precautions on campus including fewer students in classrooms and even areas of the dorms designated for quarantined students.

"If I had chosen a different school that was bigger, I would've been a lot more anxious because there's only so many people you can make follow the rules," said Brooklyn.

Brooklyn and her mom urge everyone to do their research before taking that leap to choose an out-of-state school.

"I'm going in knowing the risks, but I'm going in prepared for them as well," said Brooklyn.

They recommend learning what safety precautions your school is taking or not taking. After all, it's your college to choose, but your own health to look after.

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"At the end of the day, we do have to continue to do things," said Tara.

"Bottom line, I do think it's going to be worth it for me and I'm going to do my best to make sure I'm safe," said Brooklyn.

The following are some questions you shouldn't be afraid to ask your college:

  • What are their plans should your student get sick?
  • What should your student expect living on campus?
  • Will there be temperature checks at the dorms?
  • Will your student have to sign a liability waiver?
  • Will there be contact tracing?
  • These are all things we didn't have to think about before.
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