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Saginaw Valley students address Thanksgiving travel, COVID concerns

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 10:31 PM EST
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SAGINAW CO., Mich. (WJRT) (11/21/2020)-The concern surrounding coronavirus and Thanksgiving travel is especially relevant to college students.

This week, the CDC recommended no travel unless necessary over the holiday weekend or at the very least, suggested getting tested first.

There were so few cars on Saginaw Valley’s campus Saturday ahead of the holiday travel rush, you’d not be unreasonable to expect a tumbleweed to appear at any moment.

“You saw most people leaving this morning?” this reporter asked a group of students during a Saturday interview near the dorms.

“Yes, a lot of people were packing up their stuff this morning.”

Allysa Marshall and Morgan Jantz are second-year students. While both have plans to spend time with family this Thanksgiving, they said some of their peers have made the choice to stay in.

“I know a lot of people are staying here because they’re not comfortable with going home,” Marshall related.

In a Thursday announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped short of telling students not to make the trip home for the holidays, but noted students should be considered members of other households. If nothing else, the agency recommended students submit to a coronavirus test prior to hitting the road.

NATS—() Car whooshes by.

It comes two weeks after ABC12 first reported Saginaw Valley State University would get homeward-bound students tested free of charge. Spokesman JJ Boehm justified that decision in an interview conducted at the time:

“We’ve had relatively few cases on campus but we know that case counts are rising in the community. They’re rising in the state,” he explained. “We want students and families to have the peace of mind.”

Just days after that interview, the University announced it would revert to remote instruction. SVSU’s new case tally had more than doubled, from 15 cases on November 6, to 38 on November 18, according to the reporting dashboard on the University’s website.

“I feel like if you keep it small with your immediate family, then I don’t think it should be a problem,” Navia Thomas explained.

Thomas is a sophomore who said she was getting ready to head home this year as well, but to a downsized version of her traditional family Thanksgiving.

“I’m just making sure to take the health precautions… and only going out when necessary,” Thomas said.

“Follow what the CDC says and what the school says,” Jantz suggested.

Marshall and Jantz both said they would be going the extra mile and doing their part to ensure in person classes at SVSU move forward next semester. Hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing are all recommended strategies.

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