BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – With holiday travel being discouraged as COVID-19 cases keep rising, students at UC Berkeley and at colleges across the country are left in a predicament, to go or not to go home.
Not only is the concern that students can potentially infect their loved ones when they go home but can also bring back the virus to the Bay Area.
Michael Kramer, a recent graduate said, “It’s just sad, thinking that things are on the rise and I’m imagining with people traveling in and out for the holidays, cases are only going to go up.”
College students from across the country will be heading home for the holidays. Some will be coming back to the Bay Area while others like Kramer will be heading down to Orange County to see his Mom and Dad for Thanksgiving.
Kramer has opted to drive and is taking as many precautions as he can. “I, myself am going to get tested before I go down, when I get down and when I come back,” he said.
Epidemiologists though warn testing is not without flaws. While they can tell you if you are infected, they won’t stop the spread.
Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at UCSF, told KPIX 5, “To just get a single test and say okay now we can bring the kid back from college in Wisconsin and have him meet up with grandmother on Thanksgiving for six hours with no mask on, not a good thing. You need to be really careful about the situation.”
Some students say with the spike in cases, they are avoiding the risk all together. Ben Fellows a UC Berkeley student, said, “I know in New Mexico they reverted back to a two-week full-on lockdown and that kind just put a damper on it.”
Health experts are recommending that if you travel to an area with a high infection rate to quarantine for two weeks and some countries are requiring it for travelers from the U.S.
Many are hoping if they stick to the guidelines now, going home for Christmas will still be a possibility.
Fellows added, “If we adhere to the guidelines, as miserable as it is, the faster we can get back to actually doing this stuff.”