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Families of college students preparing for students to return home

The Johnson family in Massachusetts is planning to welcome their daughter home from Ohio State, but they are taking extra precautions.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — College students and parents are trying to find the safest way for their children to get home for the holiday break as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country.

Many colleges have changed learning plans to online learning as cases spike and are urging their students to quarantine at home if possible.

Massachusetts mom Becky Johnson has a daughter in her second year at Ohio State University. They booked a flight home for her months ago, but changes to curfews and learning plans are keeping the Johnson family on their toes.

“She has a 6 a.m. flight,” said Becky Johnson. “She is testing Saturday morning because her flight home to Massachusetts is Monday morning and in the state of Massachusetts you have to have a negative COVID test if you’re coming from another state that they consider to be high risk.”

Johnson said her daughter will bring hand sanitizer with her on her flights and plans on double-masking.

Gov. DeWine announced a new curfew this week, creating anxiety for college students like Johnson’s who have early flights home scheduled.

“She called me in a panic asking, ‘1. Am I going to get in trouble for going to the airport and 2. Am I going to be able to get an Uber?,” Johnson said.

Several people have offered to help her daughter should she need transportation to the airport. 

Johnson said the family-like support she’s received from other families at OSU has helped them navigate the new territory.

Johnson said she and her family at home are also preparing for her daughter's arrival.

“We have been cleaning a lot. I kind of want her to get her laundry from her suitcase right into the washer to disinfect it.”

Once home, Johnson said her daughter and the rest of the immediate family will spend a few weeks in quarantine to be on the safe side.

“Small sacrifices for everyone to stay safe and I just pray that things will be different next year,” Johnson said.