Who Is Liable If Your Student Gets COVID-19 on Campus?

Fall 2020 plans are barreling ahead. Students are packing up their computers, XL twin sheets, and… masks. And everyone is asking “but what if I get sick?” What happens if your student gets COVID-19 on campus?

The U.S. Senate is currently debating a bill that would safeguard colleges and universities from being liable for anyone diagnosed with the coronavirus on campus.

RELATED: Coronavirus Impact: What Has Your College Decided to Do for Fall 2020?

This bill would mean students accept the fact that they’re are the liable party if they get ill with coronavirus. No matter the hygiene and social distancing measures put into place by the school, the school would not be liable, by law.

A U.S. Senate committee on Thursday debated whether to support a bill that would shield universities from coronavirus-related lawsuits brought by students and workers who get sick when college campuses reopen in the fall.


Christina Paxson, the president of Brown University, told Reuters that “institutions are very nervous that even if they play by the rules scrupulously they will still be subject to class action lawsuits.” She also said that defending these lawsuits would take money away “from financial aid for students.”

We’ll update this article as the Senate votes on this bill.

RELATED: COVID-19 and Colleges: FAQs

We’re All In This Together

If your student gets COVID-19 on campus, there will be plenty of support and help for them. Student health services, local and county administrators, and other care organizations are aware of the populations coming back. They’ve been preparing for some kind of return — even if they’ve been unsure of what it looks like. But your student won’t be on their own.

What can you, the student, and the parents do? Keep strict hygiene rules! Colleges and universities are publishing their requirements ahead of August. Follow them to the letter, and then some. Be hyper aware of your health, and wash your hands. Wear a mask, and avoid large crowds. The only way all of the students can stay happily on campus is if everyone makes their health a priority. Be smart! We’re all in this “new normal” together.

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