Colleges ask students to stay vigilant while on spring break

Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 4.47.10 PM.png
Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 26, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Concerns of growing COVID-19 case counts nationwide are thanks to scenes of crowded beaches in Florida, overtaken by college students on spring break.

As spring break kicks off for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, school leaders are asking students to stay vigilant.

Obie Austin, director of student health and wellness at UMKC, said the university is encouraging students who do travel to continue to practice proper safety precautions.

"Obviously we would like students not to travel, but travel is going to occur, so we want students to be safe while they travel, we want them to be aware of things like possible exposure or high-risk activity," Austin said.

UMKC junior Makayla Loomis said she's sticking around the area for her vacation. Crowded beaches, like the ones seen in Miami, aren't her cup of tea.

"I'm just trying to be more conservative. Stay back, stay in, stay safe," Loomis said.

Loomis said staying around the area will allow her to save money too.

"I just don't want to spend money for things to be shut down, or have to have a curfew so I may as well just wait until the summer," Loomis said.

Austin said UMKC saw an uptick in its rapid testing for students ahead of spring break.

In true nursing student fashion, UMKC junior Gloria Conrad got tested before traveling home to St. Louis to spend time with her family.

"You can never be too careful, I've been vaccinating people for weeks and I'm vaccinated myself, but you know COVID's not over," Conrad said.

The school is currently preparing to put out an optional survey to find out how many students and faculty have been vaccinated.

In the meantime, school leaders hope students will think like Conrad as they head out on Spring Break.

"There's talks of going back to normal next fall, but we can't get there if we're not being careful now," Conrad said.