Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about COVID-19 and NC State's ongoing response? Look for the answer below, or explore more detailed information from Emergency Management and Mission Continuity or University Human Resources.

This information is subject to change. Last updated: Aug. 12, 2021.

Testing and Contact Tracing

Beginning Monday, Aug. 16, all students, faculty and staff who will be on campus (or at any NC State owned or operated location across the state) for any reason must provide proof of vaccination or they will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing on campus.

NC State will continue its voluntary surveillance testing program with vaccinated student, faculty and staff participants to broadly monitor COVID-19 presence and spread on campus.

On-campus testing will also remain available for the NC State community throughout the fall. COVID-19 tests on campus are free and available to all NC State students, faculty and staff. For more information on testing locations and hours, please click here.

NC State is regularly testing members of our community, including students living on campus and select employees working in face-to-face roles. For more information on our surveillance testing program, please click here.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you think you have been exposed, you should isolate and make an appointment for testing at Student Health Services, visit an on-campus testing location or receive a test at an off-campus location. If you get tested off campus and receive a positive result, please report it.

The university’s COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks self-reported cases and cases identified through testing, as well as other data, is updated regularly.

  • NC State requires ongoing surveillance testing (PCR tests) for certain designated groups on campus. For more information about surveillance testing, please visit the testing protocols page.
  • Free on-campus testing is available to all students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status or participation in a surveillance testing program. For more information on locations and hours, please click here.

Any NC State student, faculty member or staff member with a valid NC State ID can get tested on campus.  All testing is provided free of charge. For the latest updated information on testing locations and hours of operation, click here.

Weekly testing helps manage community transmission and is an expectation in our community standards.  Employees and students who are required to complete weekly testing who do not comply can be subject to disciplinary action including loss of housing or employment.

Yes, for a limited period of time. Following a positive test result and an isolation period, surveillance testing is not required for 90 days.

If you are required to be tested weekly, if receive a test at an off-campus location, you must upload your results each time you are tested. If you receive a test on campus, your results will automatically be uploaded into HealthyPack Portal, NC State’s online medical portal.

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are told by a health care provider that you are presumed positive and are unable to attend classes or complete assignments, please contact your instructors as soon as possible as well as an absence verification officer. More information about NC State’s absence verification process can be found here. Please also notify the university by completing the self-reporting form.

If you were in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with an individual who has tested positive, please self-report and get tested 3-5 days after your initial exposure. Getting tested before the 3-day window may result in inaccurate test results. A member of the contact tracing team will reach out with more guidance after you self-report. If you were not within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes you are probably not at risk and should wait to hear from the contact tracing program for more guidance.

Vaccines

Vaccines are not required for students, faculty and staff at NC State, but are highly encouraged. If you haven’t yet done so, please consider getting your vaccine as soon as possible.

Student Health Services offers COVID-19 vaccination appointments through the PackVax clinic for students, faculty, staff, alumni and their immediate families. The clinic is open all summer and fall in Student Health Services. Appointments are available for anyone aged 12 years and older.

Yes. Student Health Services offers COVID-19 vaccination appointments through the PackVax clinic for students, faculty, staff, alumni and their immediate families. The clinic is open all summer and fall in Student Health Services. Appointments are available for anyone aged 12 years and older.

No. Students and/or employees cannot be required to be vaccinated to participate in classroom or instructional activities. At this time, the UNC System is not requiring students, faculty, staff or visitors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to report their vaccination status to the university. Additionally, any known information about a participant’s vaccination status may not be used to make decisions regarding their approval to be in a classroom, lab or program.

No. A visitor or participant cannot be required to be vaccinated. At this time, the UNC System is not requiring students, faculty, staff or visitors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to report their vaccination status to the university. Additionally, any known information about a visitor’s or participant’s vaccination status may not be used to make decisions regarding their approval to be in a lab or program.

The university is strongly encouraging (but cannot require) faculty, staff and students to voluntarily upload their vaccine information. To protect an individual’s uploaded information, it will be kept confidential in their medical record. Only the aggregated community vaccination status will be used to help inform university decisions moving forward, such as making adjustments to health and safety measures. Aggregate information on vaccination status also helps the university make decisions about the ongoing need for vaccine availability and administration on campus, requirements for surveillance testing and other campus operations related to COVID-19.

Those who have received vaccines on campus or who provide proof of vaccination status through the HealthyPack Portal will be exempt from weekly surveillance testing. In most cases, those who have received vaccines on campus or who provide proof of vaccination status will also be exempt from mandatory quarantine, and pre- and post-testing for domestic travel.

At this time, the UNC System is not requiring students, faculty, staff or visitors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or to report their vaccination status to the university. Likewise, except in rare and specific situations, NC State is not requiring that people disclose their vaccination status at this time. Of course, students and employees can always choose to share their vaccination status with others, and the university has no intention of regulating personal or private conversations.

Because vaccines are not required, in most cases, the university recommends you not ask others if they have been vaccinated for purposes of university business or planning. In addition, asking questions about vaccination status could inadvertently result in the disclosure of an otherwise undisclosed disability or other personal information protected under state and federal law, and/or could lead the employee or student to feel they are being discriminated against based on their membership in a protected group in violation of state or federal law.

In rare circumstances, exceptions can be made for specific legitimate university purposes. These could include participation in travel or trip activities or even university housing or hotel room assignments. In these instances, an individual can be asked to provide, on a voluntary basis, their vaccination status to help the department or unit determine the best health and safety practices for the situation.

To learn more about whether your department, unit or program may ask about an individual’s vaccination status for university-related activities, please send your questions to covidresources@ncsu.edu.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, unless:

  • You are alone in a private, enclosed residence hall room, apartment or office with the door closed.
  • You are in an enclosed indoor space when only household members are present.
  • You are actively eating or drinking.

Face coverings are not currently required in outdoor spaces for vaccinated individuals, but they are encouraged, especially in large crowds. Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated should continue wearing a face covering outdoors.

Face coverings are required on NC State’s Wolfline buses.

Wearing face coverings is mandatory and will be required as a community standard under the Student Code of Conduct. It will be treated similar to other behavioral community standard expectations. Wearing face coverings in is also a community standard for faculty and staff. 

Students not wearing face coverings as required will be asked to put one on, and if they do not, they will be instructed to leave the class.

Employees not wearing face coverings as required will be asked to put one on, and if they do not, they can be asked to go home.

No. Face shields are intended to be an additive layer of protection and not a substitute for a face covering. The intent of a well-fitting face covering is to minimize the spread of droplets and aerosols in your breath, protecting others from you. A face shield offers a barrier, but it is open at the bottom and does not effectively capture all droplets and aerosols.

Yes, clear face coverings are an acceptable alternative to fabric face coverings. 

Protecting the Pack

  • The best way to protect yourself and help keep our community safe is to get your COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are strongly encouraged for all students, faculty and staff. If you haven’t yet done so, please consider getting your vaccine as soon as possible.
  • 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 6 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, nonporous surfaces. Bleach solutions need to air-dry after application. For items on the EPA list, follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding “contact time,” or how long to leave the product on the surface. A product’s recommended contact time may be as short as 15 seconds or as long as two minutes.
  • Wear a face covering while indoors and in close contact with others.

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

If you test positive for COVID-19, we encourage you to fill out a voluntary self-reporting form to help us track cases and provide additional resources and support:

For students For faculty and staff

NC State has taken extensive measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please visit our community standards page to learn more about ongoing efforts to protect the Wolfpack. 

Students who are recommended to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to illness will be asked to do so at home. If this is not possible and the student is in campus housing, NC State has designated campus housing units that can be used for quarantine purposes. 

Students are expected to notify their instructors about potentially missing class or assignments. Faculty and staff are expected to self-quarantine or self-isolate at home.

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