Are COVID-19 precautions at North Carolina universities working?

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With a pandemic-style school year under their belts, North Carolina universities now have more precautions in place to keep students safe on campus.

Schools here and across the country have a myriad of precautions from indoor masking to mandated COVID-19 testing. University officials hoped these measures would allow students to remain on campus safely.

Duke University stood out as one of the schools with COVID-19 numbers low enough so that students could stay in their dorms and attend some in-person classes at the start of the last school year.

Percent positives represent the number of testing coming back positive for COVID-19. Public health officials like to see that figure stay below five percent for at least two weeks. So far, Triangle universities are staying under that number- some more successfully than others.

SchoolPercent PositiveTotal Cases
NC State0.93%226
UNC-Chapel Hill2.06%220

Duke University

At Duke University, students were required to show proof that they have received a coronavirus vaccine this year. Officials said they hoped this new requirement will slow the spread even more, adding that it’s the only way to return to normal campus life.

Students who tested positive were required to isolate for 10 days. Those who live on-campus would be moved to an isolation facility on campus. Those who live off-campus were required to isolate at their own home.

The school currently has reported a percent positive of 0.68 percent. Duke’s dashboard lists 111 active COVID-19 cases for a total of 221.

NC State

At NC State, if students are not vaccinated, they need to get tested weekly this year. Tests are offered on campus and automatically uploaded to their account, or students can upload results from off-campus sites. If students miss two weeks, they face disciplinary measures from probation to suspension to being removed from student housing.

A rise in cases last school year shortly after the start of classes, resulted in the university’s decision to move undergraduate courses online and students out of residence halls.

So far, the university has reported 226 COVID-19 cases since the start of August. NC State’s COVID-19 dashboard lists a percent positive of 0.93 percent.

UNC Chapel Hill

Meanwhile, at UNC-Chapel Hill, students who have not attested to being vaccinated are required to get tested twice a week this school year. Faculty who have not attested to being vaccinated must test once per week. The twice-a-week COVID-19 testing requirement will remain in place until at least Sept. 15.

University administrators chose to move all classes online shortly after the start of the fall semester last year. The university also asked all students who could move out of the residence hall to do so.

UNC-Chapel Hill is at 2.06 percent positive for the month of August. The university’s dashboard listed 229 total cases of COVID-19 for the month. Eleven were reported on Sunday.

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