VCU students clearing out of dorms although CDC advises against holiday travel

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:26 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Americans are rethinking their holiday travel plans. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday suggests putting a halt to traveling to see family. But some people in the Central Virginia area have no choice, especially college students who are being told to clear out of their dorm rooms for two months.

It’s one week before Thanksgiving and students are getting ready to go home.

“We’re excited,” John Caramel said.

Usually, it’s a quick weekend trip for many. This time, VCU is encouraging them to stay home. Dorms are closing for two months since finals will be done online this semester.

“I’d rather be on campus,” Katya Zimmet said.

“I’d rather stay here,” Lexi Snively added.

“I would maybe not stay for 2 months,” Harris Erickson said.

Kerry Clendenon is on campus picking up his daughter.

“I think it’s smart with the cases rising…Getting them home, getting them isolated and keeping them home, that’s going to be our goal and keeping them safe,” he said.

A new recommendation from the CDC urges Americans not to travel to see family this Thanksgiving.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19....staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year,” the CDC said.

“It’s going to be really hard to stay away from your family when you’re living with them, and we don’t have the choice to stay here so that’s not really an option,” Snively said.

In just the past week, more than a million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States. There are growing concerns college students who live away from home can unknowingly pass the virus on to loved ones while at home.

“That’s the whole reason why I’m getting tested just to make sure that if I do possibly have it, I’ll stay away from them and probably get a hotel not be near them,” Zimmet said.

“It’s definitely something you should keep in the back of your mind, like wear your mask, make sure you stay safe…I personally have lost family members to COVID,” Alex Fernandez said.

VCU students will have to get tested again before returning to their dorms in January.

The CDC says if you must travel, do all of the things it has said all along like washing hands, wearing masks and also staying 6-feet away from friends and family who you don’t normally live with.

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