SYRACUSE (WBNG) - College students are running out of time to decide if they will leave their campuses and head home for Thanksgiving.
Some students don’t have much of a choice and must leave dorms on campuses that will be shut down for the spring semester after a surge in COVID-19 across the country.
But for students who live off-campus, the decision is more complicated.
Syracuse University junior Kyle Leff is worried about infecting his mom with COVID-19, who he says is at higher risk.
Leff has been taking COVID-19 tests through his university, but he's worried it's not enough as someone could become infected or begin showing symptoms at any time.
He lives in an apartment with his friends just a few blocks off of SU’s campus. Soon, he’ll be living there alone as his friends head home. He says he's decided to stay put over Thanksgiving break.
“I’m scared I’m going to bring home COVID or some other disease from school that I wouldn’t bring home if I just stayed here, and I have a house hear and I can stay here on my own, safely, and not put my family at risk,” Leff said.
Syracuse University has experienced nearly 400 new COVID-19 cases over the past 2 weeks, including more than 140 in just the past 4 days. Those cases coming even after all classes have been moved online.
SU made the decision before the semester started that students would not return to campus after spring break.
Around Onondaga County, COVID cases spiked as well. There is so much COVID in the community that the health department decided they would stop releasing locations, such as stores and restaurants, where people may have possibly become infected with COVID-19.
“It’s a lot worse up here,” Leff said. “I’ve had a lot of friends go into quarantine because of COVID. I’ve had a few friends get it.”
Leff said he’s from Connecticut, where the virus is less prevalent.
“I don’t want to risk bringing the virus from here where it’s a lot worse back home to Connecticut where it’s a lot better,” Leff said.