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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

Airlines push for "COVID-free passports" as vaccine race heats up

Airline employees at Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago on Monday, after Chile resumed international flights. Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Monday that it's "in the final development phase" of a "digital passport" mobile app that would receive COVID-19 test and vaccination certificates.

Why it matters: Per a statement from Nick Careen, IATA's senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, the app would "get people traveling again safely," as the airline industry seeks to recover from the pandemic.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 hours ago - Health

Moderna exec says children could be vaccinated by mid-2021

Tal Zaks, chief medical officer of Moderna, tells "Axios on HBO" that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for children by the middle of next year.

Be smart: There will be a coronavirus vaccine for adults long before there is one for kids.