Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, packing for college has evolved into a major health measure — especially now that the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant and rising numbers of the Monkeypox virus.

Each semester our students head to college campuses, it’s right in the middle of a new wave of the pandemic. This is why back-to-college shopping has raised a major challenge; your young adult still needs room necessities, such as a sheet set and shower set, but now they should also bring hand sanitizer, surface and air cleaning spray, and a good supply of masks, just to name a few.

​With most colleges offering face-to-face classes, many students will be back in dorms, apartments, and fraternity and sorority houses. They’ll be exposed to new people — and possibly to COVID-19 or Monkeypox.

​So how should parents supply their college-age children to give them the best chance of staying healthy — or recovering quickly — if students do contract one of these contagious viruses? ​In this article we will cover “The Pandemic Essentials Your College Student Needs.”

Students’ post-pandemic necessities and essentials

Masks

At some schools, masking in class and in public spaces like the library may be mandatory or optional; either way, it’s important for students to have masks on hand.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loosely woven cloth masks provide the least protection, layered finely woven ones offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) provide the highest level of protection. Free government-provided N95 masks are available at CVS. Find your local CVS here.

Rapid Tests

Rapid Tests are a great essential to throw in your student’s bag. Anytime you scholar might be worried about contracting COVID-19, they can get quick and easy confirmation from the safety of their room. They can then proceed with the proper health precautions.