The Challenge of Tracking COVID-Infected Students

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As students returned to the University of Missouri, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services saw a COVID spike, with the peak reaching more than 200 new cases per day.

As the return of college students to campuses has fueled as many as 3,000 COVID-19 cases a day, keeping track of them is a logistical nightmare for local health departments and colleges.

Some students are putting down their home addresses instead of their college ones on their COVID testing forms — slowing the transfer of case data and hampering contact tracing across state and county lines.

The address issue has real consequences, as any delay in getting the case to the appropriate authorities allows the coronavirus to continue to spread unchecked. Making matters worse, college-age people already tend to be hard to trace

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