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The original item was published from 11/10/2020 2:25:58 PM to 11/30/2020 11:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: November 12, 2020

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19 and College Students Returning to Concord

COVID-19 and College Students Returning to Concord

Many college students will be returning home to Concord for Thanksgiving, either to celebrate the holiday with family or because college campuses are sending students home to finish their semesters remotely.  As college students return home, the Concord Board of Health offers the following guidance to help keep our friends, families, and community safe during COVID-19.

Massachusetts Travel Order.  Everyone who will be returning home to Massachusetts from a higher risk state must get a COVID test.   Tests should use a molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained within 72 hours of arrival. Information about where to obtain a test can be found at

Per the Massachusetts Travel Order, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.
  • If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.


Why are we concerned about returning college students?

Public Health authorities believe many college-aged individuals who contract COVID-19 can be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and may inadvertently infect others.  Every returning college student should be tested to catch asymptomatic people before they are able to spread the disease to friends and family during the holidays.  Anyone returning to the State must quarantine for 14 days or until a negative result is produced.

There is increasing recognition that COVID-19 is often being spread by via informal gatherings, especially among young people.   At his recent November 2 press conference, Governor Charlie Baker said that inter-household social gatherings are “driving a significant, sustained increase” in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.   “Residents should postpone or rethink any indoor get-togethers like birthday parties, baby showers or even watching football or some other sporting event with neighbors” Baker said. “These are places where COVID spreads even if they’re small, where people let down their guard,” he said.  “Too many of us have become complacent in our daily lives.”

Although we understand returning college students are eager to see their friends, the Board of Health is asking Concord parents to discourage their college-age students from casual socialization with friends indoors and in groups. Masks must also be worn if outdoors per the new Massachusetts guidance which went into effect on November 6th.

Many college age students have younger siblings who attend Concord Public Schools, so any spread of COVID-19 amongst college age students and their families has the potential to impact our ability to keep schools open.  School Superintendent Dr. Laurie Hunter said “The best way for us to protect our students and our community is for us to remain vigilant and encourage safe and healthy behaviors.”

Please be reminded that Governor Baker‘s November 2 Stay-At-Home Advisory and revised COVID Orders require the following:

  • All Massachusetts residents should remain home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., meaning that residents are instructed to stay home between those hours unless running critical errands. “We’re telling people to go home, and not … to go to their friend’s house or their neighbor’s house or somebody else — we’re telling them to go home,” said Baker.  
  • Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.  
  • All entertainment-related businesses — including theaters, casinos, event venues, museums, salons and gyms — must close by 9:30 p.m.  


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