The doctor urges college students in the Omaha area to take COVID precautions seriously

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Metro’s two largest university campuses have now re-admitted both students. Experts warn that it is of the utmost importance that students take COVID safety precautions seriously, despite the state trying to lift restrictions

Creighton students just got back from Thanksgiving hiatus last week. The extra free time is one of the university’s many efforts to keep COVID at bay.

“It’s just great to be able to do things together,” said Bernadette Lyons, a student. “But I’m ready to tear the mask off,” as tempting as it is, she’ll keep wearing it.

“It’s very strict on campus, at least, and I mean everyone at work, if you’re in the library, people won’t have a problem telling you to pull it up,” Lyons said.

And that is exactly what has to happen on and off campus, according to experts.

“The dates are pretty clear, especially from the fall when the colleges opened,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, head of the infectious diseases division at UNMC, noted that cities and towns with many college students had higher rates of COVID cases. “The link was that college students got the disease and then often took it home or brought it to grandma and grandpa to take to their parents, which sparked further transmission in the communities.”

Dr. Rupp questions the state’s decision to get things back to normal. “I think the lifting of public health measures really is a mixed message, especially to younger people, college students who feel immortal and immune to everything anyway.”

When asked if you’d like to go out of campus and collect restaurants and bars, the answer was clear: “I’d say it’s very minimal,” Lyons said. “Usually it’s like, ‘Oh, everyone’s going to do this on Thursday, everyone’s going to do this,’ but I think now it’s like hanging out with a small group of people and it’s fine, but it is never a big deal where people meet together. “

Kate Cox, another Creighton student, agreed. “I feel safe,” she said. “Everyone takes the precautions very seriously, so it’s good to be back.”

Dr. Rupp urges not just students, but everyone to stay diligent and safe despite the state trying to lift COVID restrictions.

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