+1 856-240-8117


Home → Blog

COVID Cases on Campus Climbing? Let Us Help You Cope

As college students prepare for the final weeks of the semester, they unfortunately have more to worry about than just papers, projects, and final exams. 

COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically on campuses across the country this spring, thanks to the highly transmissible omicron BA.2 subvariant. Many colleges reinstated mask mandates in response to the recent surge in cases. On April 14, Howard University in Washington, D.C., announced it was moving its final days of classes online. And on April 19, Syracuse University transitioned its campus to COVID level “blue,” signifying an elevated risk of transmission and stricter masking requirements. 

The actual number of COVID cases at colleges and universities is likely far greater than being reported, because many schools have relaxed campus testing requirements for vaccinated, boosted individuals, according to a recent New York Times article. The concern is that testing everybody will yield too many positive cases for schools to adequately deal with on their own, but that strategy significantly increases the risk of asymptomatic students unknowingly spreading the virus. 

If the number of reported cases is radically different at two different schools, it might only be because one of the schools does a much better job of testing. But eschewing testing can be disastrous, given the close quarters of on-campus living.  

The good news is that most college students who get COVID don’t become seriously ill. Still, it’s important to keep track of cases on campus, not only to help limit the spread of the virus and protect at-risk individuals, but also to provide important transmission data for health experts. 

Dealing with the surging number of cases is a challenge many schools are ill-equipped to handle on their own, which is why partnering with an outside contact tracing organization like PubSEG can be so beneficial. From reaching out to positive cases and close contacts, to sharing quarantine and isolation guidance, to clearing students and faculty for return to campus, to verifying vaccination statuses, to reviewing vaccine exemptions, there are multiple ways we can assist in your COVID mitigation efforts. 

Here are three of the advantages of partnering with PubSEG, especially during surges like the one we’re experiencing now with the omicron BA.2 subvariant: 

1. The ability to scale up (or down) quickly 

One of our partner schools recently recorded 200 positive cases in a single week, by far the most in any week since the start of their program with us. The school knew it needed additional tracers to keep up with the surge, and we were able to accommodate, increasing staffing on the program within two hours of our client requesting it.  

When you partner with PubSEG, you’re not locked into a certain number of contact tracers; each program is entirely customized to your needs. We have a program with more than twenty-five tracers, while others have as few as seven. And these numbers can vary from week to week as case numbers rise or fall. 

2. Automated communication  

When the case numbers get as high as they’ve been during the recent omicron surges, it’s virtually impossible to reach everybody by phone. Especially since it’s not just positive cases who are affected, but also presumed positives and close contacts. 

PubSEG’s tech stack allows us to conduct automated contact tracing via email. We’re able to reach many more people that way in a much shorter period of time, which is essential in limiting the spread of the virus. 

3. Empathetic tracers    

Nobody wants to find out they have COVID, or even that they might have been exposed. Even now, more than two years into the pandemic, dealing with the virus can be scary, stressful, and frustrating. Missing class time, exams, extracurriculars, and social events can be devastating for college students.  

PubSEG’s tracers are conscious of these concerns and sympathetic to the people we speak with. Students and faculty might not always like the news we have to share, but we deliver it in a way that shows we understand what they’re going through and are there to help in any way we can. 

And while we occasionally get pushback from people trying to downplay the situation, we don’t make the rules. We’re there strictly to support the policies of each of our partner schools. 


In a perfect world, COVID-19 would have been long gone by now. Instead, schools have been forced to deal with yet another surge, with more almost certain to follow when classes resume in the fall and new variants emerge. 

Really, schools have only three options. The first is to ignore the problem, which, let’s face it, will only make things worse. The second is to try to handle things on their own, which can put an incredible burden on administrators and student health officials and prevent them from performing their normal day-to-day duties. 

The third option is an outside partner like PubSEG. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, give us a call. No matter how bad the situation gets, we’re always available to help.