With the semester ending in a few weeks, many students are planning to return home for the holidays and Winter Break. As you are packing up your bags, one thing you definitely don’t want to bring home is COVID.

To return home in good health and hopefully virus-free, you should “lay low” these next few weeks.

Laying low is similar to a small self-imposed quarantine. We already had a campus-wide “laying low” period back in September to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as our campus community started up for the semester.

When you are laying low, you’ll want to limit the interactions you have with others, the duration of those interactions and the number of outings you take.

This doesn’t mean you have to fully isolate– you are just reducing the amount of close contacts. It’s more about being mindful of your activities and taking an extra moment to calculate the lowest risk.

For example, order items for pick-up or delivery rather then running into the store yourself. This cuts down your risk of being exposed to COVID-19 or really any illness like a cold or flu. It’s that simple!

 

3 Reasons to Lay Low

Laying low can help reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. This is especially important when you are returning home or planning to meet up with loved ones.

Protect Your Family

No one wants to get their family sick or be part of the cause for illness — especially on holidays.

Whether you’re laying low for your siblings or for your grandparents, you can protect the people you love by putting in a little extra thought and care into your daily activities.

Protect Your Friends

Whether it’s your best friend from college or BFF from home, you still will want to see them.

If you want to make plans to reunite with some besties over break, laying low can help decrease your risk of infecting your favorite people.

Protect Your Community

Every time you move to a new environment, you bring whatever germs you had from your previous living space into your new community. This is how the virus is spread into new communities.

 

Lay Low Once You Get Home

It is also important to lay low for two weeks once you have gotten to your destination. This will help make sure that you don’t share any germs from your “college pod” as you form your new “family pod”.

Again, this means limiting the amount of close contacts that you have and being extra aware of your interactions with others.

Consider wearing a mask around the house for the first two weeks, set up protocols for sharing a bathroom safely, and avoid sharing your personal belongings.

 

Let’s Get Set for a Great Spring Semester

Laying low before, during, and after break directly impacts how the spring semester will go.

When when everyone returned to WSU at the end of summer break, we had– like other colleges in our area– large increases in positive cases which made for a rocky start to the fall semester.

Whether you are planning to stay here in Winona over winter break or planning to return home, if we all lay low during the holiday season and return to campus safely, we can set ourselves up for a better semester in January.

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Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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