Reopening colleges and universities during the pandemic poses a unique challenge worldwide. To secure everyone’s safety, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan established general guidelines for college campuses. It also announced that a class should be suspended if one student or staff member tested positive and that a school should be closed for 14 days if it had two or more confirmed cases. With containment efforts and contact tracing, the number of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan have remained low. Taiwan has not had any domestic case for sixty-seven consecutive days, and there is no community outbreak at present. Six thousand polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19 are done in the country each day. About 1100 students and staff at the NTU have been placed under quarantine ever since the pandemic’s onset. As of 18 June 2020, there have been seven confirmed cases in 6 Taiwanese universities. One university was closed temporarily, only to adopt virtual classes, and reopened after 14 days of contact tracing and quarantine of all possible contacts.

The safe reopening of colleges and universities requires a combination of strategies, such as campus-based screening, school-based TOCC screening, quarantine protocols, mobilization of administrative and health center staff, regulation of dormitories and indoor air ventilation. These measures were successful in Taiwan, because of the low numbers of cases in the country. Whether they will be sufficient to prevent and contain viral spread on campus, would depend upon the prevalence of the disease in the locality.

Ref: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-2927