Students at NC A&T determined to stay on campus, stave off COVID-19

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Over the past few weeks, the state has seen clusters of coronavirus cases at several colleges and universities across the state. North Carolina A&T State University has a very low COVID-19 rate since opening the campus back up in early August.

Arthur Claiborn, an NC A&T senior and residence assistant, explained the common goal many of the students on campus have when it comes to fighting this pandemic, which includes avoiding an overall cancellation of on campus-living and in-person classes.

“For the most part when I look around I just see a lot of students with masks on and it’s awesome to see students care about themselves but also care about the student body and want to see us stay here for the remainder of the academic school year,” Claiborne said.

As of Sept. 2, the university has a 4 percent infection rate on the campus. FOX8 spoke with Dr. Padonda Webb, interim executive health services director, who credits the diligence of students always wearing their masks and constant testing which is available at the Health Services Center.

“We’re hoping to keep it that way so we are doing as much testing as we possibly can to make sure we’re able to detect the virus early,” Webb said.

Upperclassmen have also reinforced the importance of not engaging in large gatherings so everyone can finish the remainder of the academic school year.

“For us as far as the upperclassman, the reason we rally together is that, for myself, I’m a senior so I want this opportunity to live out my final college days and I want to get the most out of it I can although I’m under the limitations that have been presented by COVID-19,” Claiborne said.

Students living on campus are also remaining cautious.

“Every morning I get up and I spray the whole suite area and I clean around the sink and just the bathroom in general because you know we’d usually do cleanings on Saturdays but now we have to do it like every day because we want to make sure we’re safe,” said Leeroy Nchinda, an NC A&T junior and resident assistant.

The university has partnered with Cone Health to conduct COVID-19 testing. It’s a service available for students and faculty and they have the option to take a saliva or nasal COVID-19 test. The results are typically back in three days. Webb credits the students for maintaining social responsibility and wearing their masks this first month of the school and says continuous COVID-19 education is critical.

“We are going to continue educational programs and we have peer facilitators here that push a lot of that information out for us to make sure that people don’t get comfortable,” Webb said.

University officials also attribute their low COVID-19 rates to not having fraternity and sorority houses, places where COVID clusters typically stem from on college campuses.

There’s a designated residence hall isolated for students who have been infected.

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