There was a periodic trickle of eager students and concerned parents moving into Boston University's dorms today — the first of several move-in days between now and the end of the month.
The 15-day move-in window with assigned designated arrival times is meant to limit people coming into contact with each other.
Sophomore Elvis Morara said he's "kinda nervous" about the coming semester. He'll be taking some classes in-person and some online. He said Massachusetts faring better than other states doesn't exactly put him at ease, but he made the decision to return to BU to get some semblance of normalcy.
"It's a weird time," Morara said. "But I thought it was important to have a school setting to do school rather than at home, so that's why I came back. Just hoping for the best."
Morara, who's from Pennsylvania, said this year's quiet move-in was definitely different than his experience last year.
While some BU students cautiously look forward to the school year, parents like Daniel Francois are afraid.
"If it were up to me, [my daughter Priscilla] would be staying home," he said as he unloaded the family's SUV. "If anything gets hectic, then we're just going to bring her home. . . I don't feel too positive about the outcome."
Francois, from New Jersey, said he's concerned about students coming from states with a high amount of COVID-19 cases.
Boston University, like other area schools, has a protocol for students who are coming from high-risk states. They are advising those students to quarantine for 14 days, per Massachusetts travel order, if not tested within 72 hours of their arrival. Even if students from COVID-19 hot spots test negative for the virus, the university still has a stay-in-place advisory.
Parents are also prohibited from going to students' rooms. And BU wants only one other person assisting the students' move-in.
But Francois is still worried about how the virus will play out in the coming weeks. He said all it takes is one person.
"And as soon as one person gets sick, they're going to start shutting things down," he said. "I think we're going to back to where we were before. It's only a matter of time."
But Francois said his daughter felt she'd be more productive at school than at home.
At a media conference earlier this week, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh echoed Francois' concern about people coming from states with high numbers of COVID cases like California, Florida and Texas.
"We're hoping that students actually quarantine and that they're not bringing the virus to the city," Walsh said.