ECU Interim Chancellor hosts second virtual town hall

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – ECU officials are finalizing their fall reopening plan.

They unveiled the plan called ‘Return to Pirate Nation’ last week.

Now, they’re sharing updates with students and employees.

Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson held the second virtual town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon.

He answered questions from concerned students and teachers.

Mitchelson says masks continue to be the number one topic of concern.

He’s asking professors to be upfront about the policy and set the right example.

“They have to assist our community in being compliant,” he said. “This culture of compliance–I can tell you it starts with professionals, including our professors.”

Mitchelson says July 10 is their deadline for making a decision on which classes will be online versus in-person.

Right now, he says about 32 percent of undergraduate offerings are online.

He expects some fluctuation of that number.

He says professors should have an attendance policy for in-person classes.

Students who are uncomfortable with coming to class should seek out other options.

“If I’m a student and I’m afraid of face-to-face environments, I’m seeking out online opportunities.”

Mitchelson wants to make it clear that students and staff will know if a classmate has tested positive.

“The instructor will be notified of a case that has tested positive within that classroom setting, but will not be informed of the student’s name,” he said. “We will protect HIPAA rights, but you will know that there’s been a student who tested positive–not by name.”

Individuals in close contact of the individual will also be notified.

Close contact is defined as anyone who has been within six feet of the patient for more than 15 minutes.

As cases of COVID-19 across the country continue to rise, Mitchelson says it will be a University of North Carolina System decision whether students will be kept from returning to campus on August 10.

He expects that decision to be made in mid-July.

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