In January, when the St. Louis City Health Department gave Saint Louis University the latitude to implement a modified quarantine protocol, neither the municipality nor the school had much of an idea what to expect. While the vaccine rollout had commenced, few college-age students were eligible for shots in the year’s first few months.

These data, then, offer a snapshot of a semester before widespread vaccination was available to students — when educational institutions had started the uphill climb back to normal, or at least a pandemic-era approximation thereof. Since then, more than 1,000 U.S. universities have mandated vaccines for students, faculty and staff. Consider these numbers a best-case scenario for the schools still prioritizing “freedom” over sound public-health policy.

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*Source: “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission to Masked and Unmasked Close Contacts of University Students with COVID-19 – St. Louis, Missouri, January-May 2021,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 10, 2021.