PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - With colleges across the country heading back to class, several schools around the country are already seeing outbreaks of COVID-19.

"I think it's completely irresponsible for colleges to open up at all because you think the college setting is a playground for this virus," Ravina Kullar, an epidemiologist and spokeswoman for Infectious Diseases Society of America, told Arizona's Family.

She said there are several strategies to contain an outbreak if students do go back. One of the most important is keeping students quarantined on campus. If they head back to their home, they could spread the virus to even more people.

She said they would come into contact with more people and possibly expose them. "They are flying. They are going to be taking a train home. They are taking a long road trip home," Kullar said.

Students who have the virus need to quarantine in one dorm or building, explains Kullar. Those who have been exposed need to be isolated for 10 days in a separate building.

Contact tracing is key.

"Maybe using the phone as a way to track their whereabouts to see where they've been and implement contact tracing to see who's been exposed," Kullar said.

As of Thursday night, ASU had 957 cases among students. 369 were in isolation on the ASU Tempe campus. 556 other positive cases were quarantined off campus in Phoenix metro area.

University of Arizona had 480 cases. 65 students were isolation dorms on campus. The rest of the positive cases were isolating in off-campus locations.

NAU reported seven positive cases on Friday.

 

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