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Colleges scramble to manage sick students

Top health official says it's better to keep students infected by the coronavirus on campus than to send then home.

CLEVELAND — Sophomore Talor Kosla studies health sciences at Ohio State University.

On Thursday she learned she had COVID-19 but that she was in no danger of infecting others.

“They said that ‘I’m not contagious’ and ‘I can go out, workout, just roam around anywhere,’” she said.

Yet her roommate, who is negative, has a different story.

Hotel arrangements have been made through school, and now she is in quarantine.

“Our floor was full originally, I know that 6 people are going into quarantine as of this week,” Kosla said. “They won’t tell us whether or not someone tested positive on our floor.”

OSU is hardly alone, as the threat of the highly contagious coronavirus continues to shatter many college plans.

Temple University has now gone from a “pause period” to nearly all online learning.

“Hoped that this would be able to work but the data was just too obvious for us,” said Ray Betzner, Temple university communications.

Some of the nation’s top health officials are now questioning the wisdom of that.

“We are not recommending that they send an infected college student home. Because what you’re then doing is, you’re getting an infected person and putting them back in the community to spread infection,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The University of Miami is now among schools appearing to favor keeping kids on campus and in sight.

“We can supervise, control, educate much better the behavior of young people when they’re actually spending a big part of their day with us,” said Dr. Julio Frenk, the University of Miami's president.

This weekend, the University of Wisconsin-Madison asked more than four hundred students across nine fraternities and sororities to quarantine, and threatened sanctions for non-compliance.

Students there say one person can ruin it for everyone.

“I don’t think we should all be grouped together. There are certain kids our age doing irresponsible things but then there’s also way more people doing the right thing and that’s overlooked,” said Sam Leibner, who is in a fraternity.

Back at OSU, Talor Kosla believes administrators are simply overwhelmed and doing what they can with what they know.

A spokesman stressed they are testing students each week who live in school housing and checking the daily health of those who encounter students.