Now thousands of University of Wisconsin students are making getaway plans, part of a mass pre-Thanksgiving exodus from campuses nationwide that could spread the dangerous pathogen in hometowns across the country if students and schools aren’t careful.
Maggie Pidto is careful. The 21-year-old Wisconsin senior stopped by the Kohl Center arena one recent afternoon to swab inside her nose for a viral test that came back negative, her seventh of the semester. She planned to do it again the next day to get ready for her trip home to West Hartford, Conn. She wants to protect her parents.
The virus infected one of her roommates this fall, who then had to isolate in their off-campus apartment. But so far, Pidto has dodged infection. “I’m constantly stressed about it,” she said.
Thanksgiving has become a pivotal moment for higher education as the pandemic intensifies. It casts a spotlight not only on