Janet Baseman on whether students should go home for spring break

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Should students stay or go home for spring break during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Janet Baseman, associate dean of public health practice and professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, weighs in on the issues with The Seattle Times.

“It’s math,” she said, and airline travel in particular has been a “dominant opportunity” enabling the spread of COVID-19. “That’s how outbreaks get seeded,” she said. “That’s how it works.”

Students who choose to travel should be mindful of who they’re coming into contact with, and take care to follow public health recommendations. Baseman said recommendations to wash hands frequently and avoid close contact with people who are ill are “still foundational.” But social distancing will be the key to getting through the pandemic.

“It’s an investment in our future as a community,” Baseman told the paper.