Frequently Asked Questions

Get guidance and information from NC State regarding the university's response to the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

General Information and Precautions

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The illness was first identified in Wuhan, China, and it has since been identified in other locations across the globe. Common signs of infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact (closer than 3 feet) with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash, and disinfect your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Use a disinfectant on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or a 10% bleach/water solution to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. Bleach solutions need to air-dry. For items on the EPA list, follow the manufacturer’s directions which may be as quick as 15 seconds or as much as a couple of minutes, depending on the products.
  • The use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is recommended only for people who are ill, in order to protect others. There are no recommendations for their use by the general public in preventing infection.

Common signs of infection are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. If you begin to have these symptoms, please follow these guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

  • NC State has extensive plans in place for handling communicable diseases of concern. Because COVID-19 is acting much like a contagious respiratory illness, our plans call for increased communications among programs, making sure supplies are stocked if they are needed, and coordination between the university and local and state authorities. Many of these actions have been ongoing since mid-January.
  • Our main focus is to limit the exposure of students, faculty and staff to the coronavirus and to know if or when there is a confirmed case of coronavirus infection on campus. If there is a case, we will take measures to prevent the virus from spreading to others.

  • The Centers for Disease Control, Federal Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are not aware of any reports that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. Current evidence shows the biggest risk of transmission of COVID-19 is being around individuals who are symptomatic (and to a lesser extent, infected but not showing symptoms).
  • NC State Extension provides helpful information around takeout food safety and grocery shopping safety related to COVID-19.

For up-to-date information, please check the following websites:

Physical distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. Strategies include using conference calls and video conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings, avoiding unnecessary travel and reinforcing handwashing and other common-sense precautions.

If you are among a group of people where anyone appears to be ill or may have had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, try to keep a distance of six feet from one another.

Campus Impacts

The university will remain open with minimal on-campus operations, which includes moving to fully online courses, requiring remote or alternative work arrangements for the majority of employees, and closing or significantly limiting core service facilities. For more information on campus facilities and services, please click here.

For the remainder of the semester, all NC State courses will be completed online. There will be no face-to-face class, laboratory or other instruction for the rest of this semester.

Yes. The Provost’s office has developed a website to help faculty develop continuity plans. Keep Teaching provides information and university-supported tools to maintain courses during a disruption.

Put simply, if you do not need to be on campus, you shouldn’t be on campus. The university is open with minimal operations, and if you do need to come to campus, please click here for more information on facility operations. 

NC State has an array of audio and video conferencing solutions for all types of meetings. All services require an active unityid@ncsu.edu email address in order to host a meeting, although meeting participants are not required to have an NC State affiliation. Learn more about available options here.

All spring 2020 commencement exercises are postponed. To learn more, click here. This will not impact the completion of degree requirements. Students will still graduate on time.

NC State will provide prorated refunds to students for their unused housing and dining plans this semester. Since costs of specific housing and dining plans vary per student, once determined, the credit will be posted to the student account. It will take some time for the university to calculate reimbursements and we will update you with specifics about the timing of refunds in the upcoming weeks.

Travel

With widespread community transmission in so many areas, there are currently no recommendations to self-quarantine after travel within the U.S. Regardless, if you are traveling or have recently traveled, take the following precautions to the extent possible:

  • Stay away from congregate areas within a shared apartment
  • Eat alone if possible
  • Clean surface areas and shared bathrooms after every use. Use a disinfectant on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or a 10% bleach/water solution to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. Bleach solutions need to air-dry. For items on the EPA list, follow the manufacturer’s directions which may be as quick as 15 seconds or as much as a couple of minutes, depending on the products.
  • The use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is recommended only for people who are ill, in order to protect others. There are no recommendations for their use by the general public in preventing infection. Please refrain from using these unless directed by a medical provider, as they are short supply in hospitals and healthcare centers where they are most needed and most effective.

For your own health and the health of others, please closely monitor the CDC’s guidance on travel and consider rescheduling your trip. All individuals returning from CDC Level 3 countries are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days and refrain from campus activities. Please remember that our campus is a unique environment and that people work and live in close proximity.

  • If you are seeking care, call ahead to your doctor’s office or emergency room and advise them of your recent travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available.

  • People traveling on personal business should monitor the CDC website closely for updates and changes. 
  • The CDC has recently elevated its travel advisory to Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) or Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for several areas. If traveling on university business, travelers should follow university policies regarding safety.
  • NC State has restricted all university-related travel outside of the state of North Carolina and all university-related in-state travel to attend events, meetings or gatherings of more than 100 people. 


All NC State study-abroad programs and activities throughout the world have been suspended until further notice. Students should check the Study Abroad Office website for updates. Study Abroad also has a list of frequently asked questions to assist students and their families.