NC State students return to campus as Triangle universities implement COVID protocols

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This weekend is a return to campus at several universities in central North Carolina.

North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, St. Augustine’s University, and North Carolina Central University will all be flooded with students once again this weekend.

With the surge of the omicron COVID-19 variant, each campus is requiring its own set of COVID protocols.

“I got back on campus last night around 11 o’clock,” said Prem Gandhi, a sophomore at N.C. State. “I put all of my stuff in the car and drove up.”

Moving back to the dorms for the spring semester is a bigger hassle during the pandemic.

“We have to get a test three days before or after [coming back],” Gandhi explained.

N.C. State administrators are requiring return-to-campus testing for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff.

They’ll also have to get tested once a week.

Students who live on campus, regardless of vaccination status, will have to get tested to move back into their residences, too.

“We’ll have to see how it does this semester with omicron and stuff, but last semester we didn’t have too many cases,” said student Logan Walters.

Walters told CBS 17 he thinks the current protocols are enough to keep everyone safe.

“(N.C.) State is like at 85 percent vaccination rate. I was on campus the entirety of last semester, never had COVID, didn’t have COVID symptoms,” Walters said. “I’m wearing my mask in the classroom, so I’m not really worried.”

Others think the procedures are overkill.

“I think they’re too much, to be frank. I think most people are pretty ration and can make good decisions,” said Gandhi. “They should just make the mask mandate optional and offer the K-N95 or N95 masks for people who want them.”

Other local universities are taking precautions.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, unvaccinated students and staff will have to get tested as they come back to campus.

At St. Augustine’s University, everyone must be fully vaccinated to return this semester, and they still have to undergo testing before they are cleared to return to campus.

Administrators are requiring the rules, even as the university moves to virtual learning for the rest of the month.

At North Carolina Central University, all students will be provided K-N95 and medical masks. University officials will no longer accept cloth face coverings.

All students, including commuters, are also to undergo re-entry testing.

While some students at N.C. State say they understand the importance of taking precautions, they feel the COVID fatigue setting in.

“Everyone has their concerns, and I know it’s person to person,” said Walters. “It’s, what, a year, coming up on two years? We’re all kind of over it. It’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s just the way of life.”

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