Colleges Are Canceling Spring Break to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

A number of colleges and universities across the country are canceling spring break to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Per ABC News on Sunday, the University of Michigan is the latest school to amend its schedule in order to get rid of the week-long vacation, typically held from March to April.

As stated in a letter, University of Michigan–Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso said the cancellation would “mitigate the possible risks associated with campus community members who may have traveled during the middle of the semester.”

School officials on the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses also noted that the proposed changes were due to “challenges posed by COVID-19.”

Last Thursday, the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents officially approved the amendments across its three campuses.

Other Big Ten universities who have axed spring break include the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Purdue University; Ohio State University and University of Iowa.

Schools outside the Big Ten include the University of Tennessee, the University of Florida, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, Kansas State University, the University of Kentucky, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and Carnegie Mellon University.

According to a June study conducted by Ball State University and Vanderbilt researchers, thousands of college students who may have contracted COVID-19 at popular spring break destinations reportedly brought the illness back to their campuses earlier this year.

“We find that the increase in case growth rates peaked two weeks after students returned to campus,” said Paul Niekamp, an economics professor at Ball State’s Miller College of Business. “Consistent with secondary spread to more vulnerable populations, we find an increase in mortality growth rates that peaked four to five weeks after students returned.”

To make up for these lost vacation days, some universities are adding “break days” or “reading days” throughout the spring semester to give students and faculty some much-needed rest.

According to the New York Times as of September 21 at 4:06 p.m. EST, more than 6,852,300 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 199,600 have died due to COVID-19–related complications.

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