Minimizing Spread of the Virus

The best method for preventing the spread of the virus is for everyone to get vaccinated. Preventing the occurence and spread of novel coronavirus is everyone's responsibility and will only be successful if we each take that responsibility seriously.

That means engaging daily, consistently in a variety of actions that have proven ability to eliminate coronavirus and/or blunt its ability to spread. Because COVID-19 is a relatively new virus and no approved pharmaceutical therapies exist to prevent or treat it, the preventative measures that individuals engage in are among the only ways to keep the virus under control. Given that no pharmaceutical help is on the immediate horizon, those preventative measures are especially important. 

Protocol and Oversight

The protocol that we will follow for containing the spread of the coronavirus is a combination of federal and state regulations put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the State of North Carolina Department of Health. Oversight for that protocol will be provided by the University Planning Committee including the director of the Student Health Center.

Vaccinations

The most important way to stop viral spreading with increasing cases and serious illnesses is for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Student Health Service will continue to offer vaccines throughout Summer 2021 and the 2021-22 school year. Call 336-334-7880 for information on availability.

Testing

Testing for coronavirus is available every weekday at the Student Health Center. Unvaccinated persons with symptoms of coronavirus or exposure to a positive case should get tested as soon as possible. If there is travel by public transportation particularly to destinations with high case counts then the unvaccinated should be tested 3-5 days after returning or quarantine for 14 days after returning. Vaccinated persons do not need to test or quarantine after travel or exposure unless they have symptoms, or are exposed to a roommate or intimate partner. 

Masking

You are REQUIRED to mask indoors in public spaces where people crowd together whether vaccinated or not. Masking will be required in classrooms and on campus public transportation. More specific guidelines about specific academic and social events will follow the frequently updated information from the Governor, NCDHHS and the CDC.

Sanitization protocols and practices

Housekeeping teams will clean lobby areas, and heavy traffic areas, based on CDC guidelines for disinfection and Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. Facilities also will maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, auditoriums, classrooms, computer rooms and high-traffic areas. The university will supply disinfectant, initially, then employees in individual workspaces will be responsible for frequently disinfecting their own areas.

Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied prior to reopening of buildings. Building occupants should also wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.). Research laboratories will undergo an additional cleaning checklist.

Classroom health and safety

Consistent with the university's requirement for employees and students, both classroom instructors and students taking in-person classes will wear face masks while in the classroom. Students and instructors who are not able to wear a mask, for whatever reason, are encouraged to teach or study in online courses instead.

Instructional practices and flexibility

Most courses will be offered both in person and online to maintain the health of classroom environments and all studying and working within them. Students are encouraged to select the environment in which they are most comfortable. 

Modifications to specific courses

Courses with a specific in-person requirement, such as a field experience or a lab, have been modified to support the instruction intended for those experiences whether or not they can be delivered in person. Such modifications will continue to be provided for the foreseeable future.