ECU students react to cluster of COVID-19 cases in Gateway Residence Hall

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “It’s been concerning being here because I don’t feel 100 % safe,” said East Carolina University freshman Maggie Ford.

It’s not the way Maggie Ford and Caroline Steiner thought freshman year would start. The ECU music majors live in the Gateway Residence Hall where officials say there are COVID cases.

Ford and Steiner said their dorm is full of music majors and student athletes.

“It’s scary definitely because we don’t know where it was we don’t know what floors so it’s definitely scary being there,” said Ford.

The students expected COVID would hit the school.

“It’s weird. It’s already overwhelming with the work and everything and school getting started so this adds to it but I kind of felt like it was going to happen at some point so it was inevitable,” Steiner said.

Other students are showing their frustration. Someone wrote this on campus Tuesday. “It took UNC 130 plus positive tests. what will it take at ECU?” Campus workers were seen cleaning the chalk message Tuesday afternoon.

ECU sophomore Jada Moore’s concern? Student gatherings.

“Stop partying as much. I know it’s the beginning of the school year and they want to venture out but be safe and don’t risk getting anything,” Moore said.

Students said they want to stay at school, but wish classmates would take the virus seriously.

“I say take precautions wear your mask correctly,” said Steiner.

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East Carolina University has identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Gateway Residence Hall.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.

The individuals in this cluster have been identified and ECU is working closely with our partners at the Pitt County Health Department.

Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone determined to have been a close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when either person has not been wearing a face covering.

Those identified as a close contact will be notified directly and provided with further guidance.

ECU is notifying the campus of this cluster per guidance under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, which establishes requirements regarding health and safety information that universities must share with their campuses.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches or a cough, should immediately contact their medical provider or Student Health Services, (252) 328-6841.

Visit the Return of Pirate Nation site for more information about the University’s testing and contact tracing guidelines.

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