College students across the nation are back on campus, bracing for another tumultuous semester amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

And as their universities grapple with mask recommendations, vaccine mandates and distancing rules, students are charged with making serious health-related decisions. Health experts have some risk-reduction advice to make those tough calls a little easier.

One health expert said that while no public health precaution is 100 percent effective, layering them offers a solid defense against covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“I tell folks: ‘Think of the vaccine like a really good raincoat, but if it’s storming outside, you still need an umbrella if you want to stay dry,’ ” said Henry Wu, assistant professor and senior physician at the Emory University School of Medicine. “And I think right now, we’re storming in most of the country.”

What to know

  • Do I have to get vaccinated?
  • Do I need to wear a mask on campus?
  • How should I handle study sessions with classmates?
  • Can I hang out with my friends and go to parties?
  • Beyond vaccines and masks, what precautions can I take?
  • What should I do if I feel sick?