‘I just hope we stay’: Students start classes at Triad universities amid COVID-19 pandemic

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After clusters of COVID-19 cases forced the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to all-remote classes, students at Triad universities hope they’ll be able to remain on campus.

“It’s a possibility that the same thing could happen here,” said Moriah Hill, a sophomore at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “It’s always a possibility, even with the masks that’s been my biggest concern since the beginning that we were going to have to pack up and leave.”

UNCG has reported five cases of COVID-19 from Aug. 10-16. North Carolina A&T State University officials said Tuesday they had 10 cases over the past two weeks.

“So far so good, but we won’t be able to let our guard down at all,” said Todd Simmons, associate vice chancellor of University Relations at NC A&T.

Simmons said campus police are patrolling for social distancing violations, but students are stepping in to enforce the rules too.

“If you’re on our social media, you’ll see a great many upperclassmen in particular sort of admonishing the underclassmen to not gather in big groups, and wear your mask and knock off any behavior that isn’t consistent,” he said.

“I’m a little worried, I would recommend everyone get tested on Saturdays,” NC A&T student Antwoine Holden said. “I recently got tested on Saturday, and it came back negative.”

Hill explained she’s observed many students complying with face-covering requirements, and the university implemented safety precautions in student housing.

“There’s only supposed to be residents that stay in our hall, and they check at the door and stuff, everyone has to wear a mask inside the building,” Hill said.

UNCG students said they’ve seen fliers advertising gatherings for students, and are hopeful hosts keep crowds to a minimum.

“No more than 10, no more than 10, if they are going to have a get together at least try to take temperatures at least do that,” student William Bennett said.

“I just hope we stay here that’s all,” Hill added.

Winston-Salem State University is monitoring three cases of COVID-19 among students and staff.

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