Students return to Boston campuses as experts fear increase in coronavirus cases

BOSTON (WHDH) - As students return to Boston University, on a staggered schedule and taking frequent coronavirus tests, experts are warning the fall college rush could create a hotspot for the virus in the city.

At BU, all students are tested immediately upon arrival, and students coming from high-risk states are tested at least three times over several days. Senior Sarika Nadar, who is living on campus, said she thinks the university has been careful as students come back.

“I think BU is doing a good job because we’re getting tested every other day,” Nadar said. “I already had two negatives so far and I’ve only been here since Tuesday so I already got tested twice, and they’ve put signs up about how many people should be in a room and stuff.”

But Dr. David Rubin of the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said Boston’s climate and high concentration of students could lead to more cases, pointing to the increased positive testing rate in Boston as students are returning.

“With the pressure to re-open, schools and universities, increasing case counts and then this short runway to the Fall weather, there’s a lot of concern there of risk to the Boston area unless people really start to think about the things that will drive these cases down,” Rubin said. “When this weather changes, the risk for much more respiratory transmission like other seasonal virus and higher innocence and more severe illnesses are going to go up.”

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