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College Campuses Have the Craziest COVID-19 Restrictions of All

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Robby Soave | 9.21.2021 11:04 AM

Last week, Brown University implemented strict new COVID-19 mitigation protocols following 82 confirmed positive (including asymptomatic) cases among students.

Until the number of cases decreases, students are forbidden to gather in groups of more than five, whether indoors or outdoors. They are no longer permitted to eat in the cafeteria, and must instead pick up their meals and eat elsewhere, keeping a mask on at all other times. But they can't go out to eat at bars or restaurants; this is strictly prohibited. The university doesn't want students to mingle with anyone from outside the campus, but administrators would also prefer if students declined to make new friends among their peers.

"Students are expected to consistently engage with the same small social group, rather than attending or 'hopping' among multiple small-group gatherings over the course of a day or short period of time," according to the university.

Students will also be tested every four days.

It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of Brown University teachers, staff, and students are vaccinated. Vaccination is a requirement. Since vaccines offer excellent protection against severe disease and death, COVID-19 outbreaks at Brown are unlikely to seriously harm anyone.

"On a campus where the vast majority of students and faculty are fully vaccinated, I think the university should instead return to something near-normal," one student, Adam Shepardson, told Campus Reform.

This is a reasonable expectation. Campus environments, where the populace skews younger and the vaccination rate is 90-plus percent, are ideal places to ease into the post-pandemic reality: They are extremely safe from the threats of mass death and crowded hospitals. University authorities would be well-advised to treat the diminishing threat of COVID-19 as an opportunity to lift restrictions, ease up on masking, and let students enjoy the social and educational experiences they're paying for.

Instead, something close to the opposite is happening: Far from returning to normal at an accelerated rate, many colleges are implementing some of the most authoritarian mitigation efforts out of anywhere in the country. Harvard has........

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