For the past year and eight months, COVID-19 has plagued our daily lives. Our in-person lives went virtual in every aspect from classes and club meetings to birthday parties and celebrations.
There are over 4 million lives lost with over 600,000 of them American. We’re at a time of uncertainty as new and evolved variants arise. As of Aug. 7, there are four COVID-19 variants of concern: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Variants of concern are mutations of the virus that are shown to be easier to spread, have more severe symptoms or cause a different method of care. This does not include the emerging lambda variant as its impact continues to be mapped.
The most recent variant of concern is the delta variant. The delta variant is more contagious than the previous variants of the virus. There are rare cases of the variant infecting and causing symptoms to those who have been vaccinated. However, it has been shown that most of these breakthrough cases have more mild symptoms compared to those who have not been vaccinated.
With this new information that continues to change through the weeks and months, NC State decided on Aug. 2 to again require face coverings “in all indoor spaces for students, faculty, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status” with a few exceptions. These exceptions include being alone in a private enclosed room with a closed door, an enclosed space with only people you live with, or actively eating or drinking. Face coverings are also required to get on the Wolfline and other public transportation that stops on NC State’s campus.
Starting on Aug 16. NC State is requiring those who work or live on-campus and have not given proof of vaccination to participate in weekly surveillance testing. Surveillance testing for COVID-19 continues to be available on campus. Any testing completed off-campus must be a PCR test and the results can also be uploaded to the HealthyPack portal. If any individual misses more than two testing cycles without an approved exemption, they can be subject to disciplinary action.
Unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19, show symptoms of the virus, or believe they have been exposed are highly encouraged to self-report, isolate and quarantine themselves. This information can be reported through NC State’s coronavirus website for students, faculty and staff.
Students, faculty and staff are also highly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and update their vaccination status in the HealthyPack portal. Those who received their vaccination on campus do not need to update their status as it is recorded automatically. Vaccine appointments are still available on campus on an appointment basis. Please visit ncsu.edu/coronavirus for more information about on-campus vaccination efforts.
Once proof of vaccination has been uploaded and confirmed, these individuals are not required to participate in the surveillance testing program. NC State also allows vaccinated individuals to be exempt from mandatory quarantine in most cases if they tested positive for COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed. However, it is highly encouraged that people still undergo a quarantine period following these situations.
Although they are exempt, NC State is asking for vaccinated individuals to volunteer for weekly PCR viral testing to track the symptomatic and asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in vaccinated people as part of the Wolfpack Surveillance Program. More details will be released in the coming weeks.
NC State continues to monitor the effects of the pandemic and will make decisions according to how they perceive threats to campus. Continue to do your research and make the best informed decisions for you, your family, the people you live with and our campus community.
Visit go.ncsu.edu/coronavirus for more information.