Campus Updates for Spring 2021

Talley Student Union

In preparation for the spring semester, NC State is working to provide faculty, staff and students with the resources they need for a safe start to 2021. We’ve pulled together some helpful information recapping items shared earlier with the campus community. For all of the latest information on how NC State is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic — and what you can do to help, visit the Protect the Pack website.

Testing

*This information has been taken from a Nov. 13 update on COVID-19 testing requirements from Chancellor Randy Woodson.

After winter break, NC State will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for returning students, faculty and staff, as outlined below.

Students

  • All students living in residence halls, on-campus apartments and Greek Village must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to moving into their spring housing assignment.
  • All students who are enrolled in face-to-face (fully in-person or hybrid) courses, or who need to be on campus for laboratory work (including research) or exams, must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes.
  • All students who work on campus must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus following the winter break.
  • All students who live adjacent to or within an approximate one-mile radius of campus are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes. Other than on-campus residents, these are the students who are most likely to regularly use campus resources or come into contact with members of the campus community. We will contact these students prior to the beginning of spring semester with additional information.

For students in these groups who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill the above requirements. More information, including details about how to submit results, will be forthcoming.

Faculty and Staff

  • All faculty and teaching assistants who are leading face-to-face (fully in-person or hybrid) on-campus courses, labs or other activities must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes.
  • All employees in critical service roles on campus, as determined by supervisors, and employees who engage the public in person must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus after the winter break. These employees include but are not limited to staff who interact with members of the university community in residence halls and Greek housing, dining operations and housekeeping, as well as staff who support COVID operations, testing and emergency response.
  • All researchers (faculty, staff and students) conducting research on and off campus (e.g., in field labs and research stations, in clinics and at human-subjects locations such as schools) must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus after the winter break.

For employees in these groups who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill the above requirements. More information, including details about how to submit results, will be forthcoming.

Ongoing Health Surveillance Testing

In addition to re-entry testing at the beginning of the spring semester, NC State is expanding its robust surveillance testing programs.

  • NC State will expand ongoing testing and anticipate several thousand students, faculty and staff will be tested weekly.
  • NC State Athletics will continue to test student-athletes in accordance with ACC and NCAA requirements.

Routine Testing

  • NC State’s Student Health Services will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for all students (symptomatic or asymptomatic) who request a test.
  • In the event that we identify positive cases through any of the steps outlined above, NC State will conduct contact tracing and testing for all those potentially exposed, including students, faculty and staff.
  • All travelers on approved university travel to out-of-state or international locations must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. For employees who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill this requirement.

Isolation and Quarantine Plan

*This information has been taken from a Nov. 17 update from Chancellor Randy Woodson.

Building on what was learned in the fall, NC State has adapted isolation and quarantine processes to help prevent and control the potential transmission of the virus while ensuring students receive quality care.

Any campus community member who tests positive for COVID-19 or is identified as having been in close contact with an individual who tests positive will be directed to isolate or quarantine. Quarantine is used to keep anyone exposed to the virus away from others, while isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

In this video, leaders from NC State’s Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) provide an overview of what students can expect if they are placed in quarantine or isolation.

Here are the highlights of our plan:

  • We have designated 285 isolation and quarantine rooms for students living in on-campus housing with single entry, private bathroom, separate HVAC and amenities for reheating or storing food. This is an increase in the number of rooms we had available during the fall semester.
  • On-campus isolation and quarantine spaces are outfitted with snacks, water, cleaning supplies, linens and other items students may need during their stay.
  • Students living on campus can choose to quarantine or isolate in one of our designated rooms or at their permanent off-campus residence. Students living off campus can either quarantine or isolate in place or at their permanent residence.
  • University staff will work with students on an individual plan for quarantine and isolation and provide regular check-ins throughout the process.
  • Transportation to and from isolation and quarantine spaces on campus is available by request and managed by Emergency Management and Mission Continuity with support from DASA, Fire and Life Safety and NC State University Police.
  • When students have completed their stay in isolation or quarantine, they will be notified by Student Health Services and given access to medical follow-up.
  • Faculty and staff should quarantine or isolate at home.

Workforce and Operations Planning

*This information has been taken from a Nov. 24 memo from Provost Warwick Arden and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Charles Maimone. 

NC State units and offices are directed to prepare or update their plans for safely and effectively providing regular in-person hours of operation for the spring 2021 semester. Many units, such as critical services and student-facing services, have already finished or nearly completed this type of continuity planning.

Please visit the Pack Planning spring workforce and operations plans webpage to complete and/or submit your unit’s Spring 2021 Pack Ready Refresh Plan. The site includes a step-by-step process guide, a plan template and several additional helpful resources. Key steps and dates include the following:

  • Completed plans must be submitted through the webpage no later than Dec. 11, 2020.
  • Once submitted, plans will be routed to the appropriate vice chancellor, vice provost or dean for approval.
  • Departments and units should prepare appropriate spring staffing communications for employees to be delivered on or before Dec. 18, 2020.

Units should aim to create flexible staffing plans based on operational needs, gradually bringing back employees throughout the spring in a manner that keeps offices open while following health and safety protocols. This phased approach will help ensure a safe, healthy and effective workplace. Other items to keep in mind include the following:

  • In addition to individuals already working on campus, units should determine who needs to return in order to ensure effective on-campus services.
  • Plans can include rotating or staggered in-office schedules and other measures that ensure physical distancing and safe operations.
  • Each department must adhere to university health and safety requirements, policies and guidelines that have been developed for the pandemic, including NC State’s community standards.

For more information on workforce and operations planning, review the Frequently Asked Questions.

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