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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thanksgiving will be a big test for colleges with students on campus.

The big picture: Some schools, including the University of South Carolina, Syracuse University and Emory University, plan to end in-person instruction ahead of the holiday, while others are asking students not to go home.

Why it matters: Health officials fear indoor gatherings and traveling will worsen the spread of COVID-19 nationwide. If students do go home, experts recommend self-isolation, coronavirus tests and flu shots.

Where it stands: Boston University is asking students to stay on campus and have a "friendsgiving."

  • The State University of New York system announced that its 140,000 students must test negative if they want to leave campus.

The other side: The University of Missouri has told students to go home until January.

  • Penn State's departure plan encourages students to get tested prior to leaving campus and finishing their studies online. 

Flashback: Thousands of students were responsible for community outbreaks of COVID-19 returning from Spring Break travel, a researcher from Ball State University found.

What they're saying: "This is something I don’t think there is a perfect answer to, but again it’s all about risk tolerance and thinking about the ways you can minimize it," Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said last week at a virtual event. "And I do think that those individuals [in college] should be overall thought of as high-risk contacts."

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
18 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus hotspots far outpacing Europe's

Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University, Census Bureau, United Nations; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak has surpassed Europe's.

Why it matters: It wasn't long ago that public health experts were pointing to Europe as a warning sign for the U.S. But the U.S. now has a higher per capita caseload than the EU ever has during its recent surge.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
15 hours ago - Sports

Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the college basketball season slated to begin on Wednesday, 35 men's teams are currently in "pause" and quarantining, per Stadium's Jeff Goodman.

Details: Schedules are in constant flux as schools prepare to fly across the country. Take Illinois State, which was supposed to be in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Wednesday, but will now be in Columbus, Ohio.