Parents express concerns over COVID-19 at ECU

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Universities across the country are dealing with outbreaks of coronavirus, including East Carolina University.

There are more than 100 confirmed positive cases, with a COVID cluster in the Gateway Residence Hall.

Students say they’re frustrated when they see other people on campus not wearing masks, or standing too close.

The situation can be hard on parents as well.

“As any parent would, you’re concerned about things you can’t control,” said David Black, an ECU parent.

His daughter, Emma Grace Black, is a freshman at ECU.

“For me, luckily all my classes are online. So, I don’t really have to be around people I don’t want to,” said Emma. “People sometimes don’t like to wear masks in the bathroom, which is a little upsetting.”

It’s not your usual college experience.

No parties, and no first week of class fun.

“The first couple of nights before classes started, that was fun,” said Catherine Holmes, an ECU parent, reminiscing on her time at college. “That was when you made friends. You could just leave your dorm room door open.”

Her son, Bradie Holmes, just transferred to ECU.

The lack of social outlets worries her.

“Meeting new people is part of your first few months of college, and he’s not getting to do that,” said Holmes.

Health experts say college students must take things seriously.

“I think they understand that they’re low risk, and figure that it’s just part of being in school that I’m going to get this infection,” said Dr. John Silvernail, Pitt County Health Director.

Rising cases worry parents about their kids, and their peers.

“The scary part is that those around her who she comes in to contact with may not have made those same good decisions, and that’s the part you just can’t control,” said Black.

Holmes says she would love to see more safe, socially distanced events in the dorms and apartments where students can meet new people.

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