Dr. Marc Siegel agrees college students safer on campuses: ‘It’s a built-in quarantine situation’

A Wall Street Journal op-ed by the heads of Cornell University makes a strong case for why students should be on campus for the fall semester, according to Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel.

“Epidemiological modeling suggests, perhaps counterintuitively, that if a university is prepared to put in place a comprehensive virus screening program followed up with supportive quarantine and isolation – in addition to other effective public health measures – reopening may be the more responsible option,” the provost and president of Cornell wrote in the piece.

“It’s so smart, because … it’s a built-in quarantine situation on campus,” Siegel told “America’s Newsroom.”

Siegel said that if students are off-campus, they could be roaming around the country from one hotspot to another, possibly abandoning precautions.

“It’s young people that are spreading this right now. If you’re in quarantine, you can quarantine that whole university setting like Ithaca, N.Y. – it’s in the middle of nowhere. Same idea at other universities so I am in agreement with that,” Siegel said.

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Meanwhile, Notre Dame University suspended in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases on campus.

Since students returned to campus earlier this month, 147 of the 927 tests conducted have come back positive, and all but one person, a staff member, were students.

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The 15.8% positivity rate represents a massive surge in coronavirus cases since students returned. As part of their guidelines for returning, all undergraduate and graduate students had to be tested, and 33 of the 11,836 tests done before students arrived on campus came back positive, which is just .28%.

Due to the surge, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins said university officials started making plans to send students home for the semester and shift to remote learning, but decided instead on a two-week period of virtual learning to try to tame the spread.

Jenkins said in an address to students Tuesday that most of the infections can be linked to off-campus gatherings through contact-tracing analysis.

Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.