Local college students say they are taking necessary COVID steps to travel for Thanksgiving safely

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Universities across the state of North Carolina have beefed up COVID testing efforts in anticipation of students leaving campus for winter break.

While Thanksgiving is going to be different for many because of the pandemic, college students told FOX8 they’re taking necessary steps to ensure it’s a safe one.

Officials at surrounding universities said they’re ensuring students have access to free testing before they hit the road and before they return to campus.

“It’s going to be different this year, of course,” said Justice Perry, an NC A&T freshman.

This Thanksgiving will look different for many, but the central focus remains the same — family.

“I’m just going to enjoy time with my family, and just enjoy every moment, but be safe as well — keep my mask on, social distance,” Perry said.

While some will wear masks at the table, other students said the size of the celebration is what will change.

“We plan on going and home and do a little family thing. We usually go and have a big get together with our family,” said Kareem Wilson, an NC A&T freshman.

For UNCG senior Chirs Roberts, his family has been staggering their visits

“We usually, all of us get together, a group of 30 people and have a big Thanksgiving,” he said. “So, my sister came home last week. I’m coming home this week, then they’re probably going to go next week to visit all the grandparents.”

Universities are doing their part to slow the spread by strongly advising students to get COVID testing before leaving campus.

Students told FOX8, they took advantage of testing to protect their loved ones.

“We’ve got a lot of old people in the family. Got to protect them — don’t want to get anybody sick,” Wilson said.

Perry also said she did it for the older people in her family.

“I made sure I got tested because I’m going around grandmother, my mom and I didn’t want to infect anybody, so I got tested yesterday,” Perry said.

NC A&T is mailing test kits out to students and students must test negative by Jan. 14 in order to come back to campus.

Elon will be doing free-on campus testing for students and staff before the start of the spring semester.

UNCG has not said whether testing will be required.

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