Cornell Study Makes Case for College to Return to Campus this Fall

There have been debates about all levels of schooling this Fall amidst the coronavirus. Just this afternoon, we saw Senator Rand Paul make the case for daycare and grade school to resume. Now, as noted by Bloomberg, Cornell has released a study indicating their belief that coronavirus would be 2-10 times likely to spread if they hold classes online instead of in-person.

The Cornell study relies on a couple of factors. First, there is a belief that many of their students would return to Ithaca to live in off-campus housing whether or not there is in-person instruction. Secondly, if Cornell does have in-person classes, they would be regulating their student population with testing that could better catch asymptomatic cases that would thus limit the spread.

Here is the key part of Cornell’s summary of the study:

To provide context, we also model what would happen if we did not open Cornell for a residential fall semester and did full virtual instruction instead. Our nominal parameters assume that 9000 students would remain in Ithaca but outside the control of the University in off-campus apartments without asymptomatic surveillance, and that a population of 15000 faculty, staff, and graduate students would remain on campus with asymptomatic surveillance. The median number of infections over a 16-week period in the no-reopen scenario is ∼ 7200, which is significantly larger than the ∼ 1200 that occur under the nominal fall-reopen parameters. This is because the loss of asymptomatic screening allows cases to grow significantly in the unmonitored student population. It is also because infections from outside Cornell, a large driver of cases in the residential-campus scenario, continue to drive cases.

We’re going to see this debate play out thousands of times with regards to whether to proceed not just with college, but college athletics. I hadn’t previously considered the idea that in-person instruction would beget more robust testing and regulatory protocols, and it’s a very interesting argument.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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  1. Where were these overpayed elite universities when dr Fauci was telling everyone to hide in a closet until he says you can get out?

    Universities sell classes like NFL season tix. Price goes up, pay in advance and No recourse for bad Product.

    I wonder when the non refundable school seat license holders send their non refundable tuition checks into … these INSTITUTIONS for the coming school year?

    Bet that’s right about July? ?‍♀️

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