Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about COVID-19 and NC State's ongoing response? Look for the answer below, or explore our dedicated resources for students and families or faculty and staff.

For more detailed information specific to emergency operations and human resources, you can visit Emergency Management and Mission Continuity and University Human Resources.

This information is subject to change. Last updated: Jan. 29, 2021.

Testing and Contact Tracing

To continue protecting our Pack and to help ensure a successful spring semester, 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.

Student Health Services will continue to provide testing for symptomatic individuals throughout the semester. 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 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 twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • NC State requires ongoing surveillance testing for certain designated groups on campus. For more information about surveillance testing, please visit the testing protocols page.
  • NC State’s Student Health Services provides COVID-19 testing for any students (symptomatic or asymptomatic) who requests a test.
  • All travelers on approved university travel to out-of-state or international locations must submit proof of a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. For employees who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill this requirement.

NC State Student Health Services has plans in place for contact tracing around positive COVID-19 cases with campus impacts. 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

This procedure is voluntary, and we keep the information you provide confidential. Self-reporting information helps university health care professionals conduct contact tracing and provide any resources and support you might need. Learn more about our student and employee contact tracing programs.

It’s important to note that only identified close contacts for individuals who have tested positive will be contacted via the contact tracing program.

NC State regularly updates its data tracking page with information about testing numbers, positive cases, quarantine and isolation levels and more.

Any NC State student, faculty member or staff member with a valid NC State ID can get tested on campus. Testing locations include Dan Allen Deck, Clark Dining Hall, Witherspoon Student Center and Student Health Services (appointments required).  All testing is provided free of charge. For the latest updated information on testing locations and hours of operation, click here.

Weekly. Exceptions exist only for individuals traveling out of state and internationally for NC State-approved purposes.

No, unless your department has elected otherwise and has sent you specific instructions to be regularly tested. Department-specific testing expectations will not be tracked in MyPack Portal and will instead be managed at the department level. Students in face-to-face classes who fall into other testing categories (residence halls, Greek Village, some student employees) are required to be tested weekly.

While testing is not required at the university-level for individuals in face-to-face classroom environments, it is highly encouraged. These individuals were also required to submit a COVID-19 test before returning to campus in January. Requirements are subject to change as the semester progresses and as departments and units see fit.

No, students are assigned based on their on-campus housing location or Greek Village location. Each location has a designated day of week for testing.

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

Designated employees should be tested weekly, regardless of work schedule because they can be exposed both within and outside of the campus community and the goal of this testing is to limit the spread on campus. A person like this would not be considered for surveillance tracking (formally assigned) but the supervisor should manage the testing for their teams with unique work circumstances.

Yes. Individual units can require testing in addition to the university’s surveillance program. Department-specific testing expectations will not be tracked in MyPack Portal, but instead managed at the department level.

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 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 begin a quarantine period. Get tested 3-5 days after your initial exposure and continue to quarantine until you receive your results. Getting tested before the 3-day window may result in inaccurate test results. 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.

NC State will notify individuals who potentially have come into contact with a person with COVID-19 via the contact tracing program. The university will track and be able to report total known campus cases, but we will not identify individuals or disclose other personally identifiable information.

In situations where individuals cannot be readily identified, larger notifications (such as to a residence hall, office or class section) will be distributed. In an instance of a larger public health threat, campus notifications will be sent.

Campus Operations


Yes, with some key changes to ensure the safety of the campus community:
  • Students living on campus will all be in single-occupancy rooms.
  • Online, in-person and hybrid classes begin Jan. 19.
  • Dining halls, libraries, student centers and the Wellness and Recreation Center are open. 
  • Many employees are continuing to work remotely.


You should receive specific instructions from your supervisor about work schedule and expectations for the workplace. Face coverings are required at all times on campus unless you are alone in a private office with the door closed or actively eating or drinking. Some employees may be required to receive weekly COVID-19 testing. For more information about working at NC State during COVID-19, please review information provided by Emergency Management and Mission Continuity.


NC State continues to work closely with state health officials, the UNC System, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA on plans for spring athletics. For more information on changes to schedules and other guidelines, please visit the NC State Athletics website. The Department of Athletics will conduct routine testing of student-athletes and staff in accordance with athletics conference and NCAA requirements.

NC State has reduced dining room capacity to approximately 25%, with 6 feet between tables. We will continually adjust dining configurations as needed to meet state of North Carolina requirements. We also have two large tents with Wi-Fi, lighting and seating to provide additional dining capacity. Takeout is highly encouraged. All dining employees are required to wear protective masks, and guests are required to do the same unless actively eating or drinking. Shopping and dining areas will be cleaned frequently. More information about dining operations and precautions is provided and regularly updated on the NC State Dining website.

A limited number of students will be living in campus housing, all in single rooms. In addition, the university has allocated temporary isolation and quarantine housing for residents who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to the coronavirus, as recommended by Student Health Services and other health authorities. The University Housing website provides more information about coronavirus impacts on spring 2021 housing.

Carmichael Gym is open for students, faculty and staff at reduced capacity. As with all campus facilities, face coverings are required at all times except when in the pool, showering or actively eating or drinking. For more information on hours of operation and what to expect for your visit, please visit Wellness and Recreation’s website.


As with all spaces on campus, face coverings will be required at all times while in the libraries. Library facilities will no longer be open 24 hours and will operate on a modified schedule throughout the week. This is to help ensure the safety of students and staff, while allowing for deep cleaning of library spaces. The 24/7 online library will operate as usual. Additional changes include:
  • Access to all library facilities will be limited to NC State students, faculty and staff, as well as university affiliates with a Wolfpack One Card, including Centennial Campus partners.
  • Seating density will be reduced to accommodate physical distancing. In-depth consultations and high-density workshops will be offered online.
  • The exchange of certain quick-use items like headphones and print textbooks will be limited or replaced with giveaways or scanning.
  • The libraries will continue to offer more long-term technology lending for those who need laptops, webcams and the like for online courses. Short-term technology items will be quarantined and cleaned before being lent to others.
  • Group collaboration and learning spaces will operate at reduced capacity. For example, group study rooms will become spaces for individual students or pairs of students.
  • Makerspaces and data visualization spaces will be available for use by individuals or pairs of students.

For more information, please visit the University Libraries website.

Drivers and riders will be required to wear face coverings, and some seats will be blocked off to help maintain physical distancing between passengers. Only three passengers will be allowed to stand on the bus. Standing spaces will be marked with floor decals. Riders will enter through the front door only and will fill available seats from the rear to front of the bus. They will exit through the rear door only. Buses will be cleaned daily with an EPA-approved disinfectant. When weather permits, we will open the roof hatches on buses to increase fresh airflow.

NC State will redesign bus schedules, resulting in fewer routes but increased frequency so buses will be less crowded. Students, employees and visitors are encouraged to use the ParkMobile app for short-term parking. For more information, visit the NC State Transportation website.

Face Coverings

Effective Dec. 8, 2020, and until further notice, all students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus or participating in university programs are required to wear face coverings everywhere, indoors and outdoors, even when alone, unless one of these exceptions applies:

  • You are alone in a private, enclosed dorm 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 while maintaining physical distancing.

The university will provide face coverings during the reactivation of campus operations in accordance with CDC guidelines. In some special circumstances, the university will make adjustments to campus safety standards on a case-by-case basis.

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 is also a community standard for faculty and staff. 

Students not wearing face coverings in classrooms 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.

As with other university rules, options will be provided for community members to report individuals who are not following the requirement to wear face coverings.

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

  • Wear a face covering at all times unless you are alone in a private office or apartment, or actively eating or drinking.
  • 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.

Physical distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease from one person to another by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. Strategies include using conference calls and video conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings and avoiding unnecessary travel.

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 6 feet from one another.

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. 

Depending on the work environment, some units may take additional steps to ensure safety, including floor markings to appropriately space people, routing foot traffic to prevent congestion at exits and entrances, increased cleaning measures and more. Our main focus is to limit the exposure of students, faculty and staff. 

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.

NC State expects all members of the community to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings, no matter the situation, to protect themselves and other members of the Pack. To help with this effort, the following measures are being put in place:

  • In most spaces across campus, furniture will be adjusted or removed to accommodate additional physical spacing. 
  • Signage will be posted across campus to encourage people to maintain physical distance, and to remind all to wear face coverings as required. 
  • Plexiglas shields will be installed in many locations where face-to-face contact is required.
  • Residence hall rooms and apartments are considered living spaces, and students in each of those spaces will be treated as family units. In common spaces of residential facilities, such as lobbies, people are expected to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings. 
  • Wolfline is reducing capacity, requiring face coverings and providing hand sanitizer on all buses. 

NC State has also developed COVID-19 community standards, which include information about physical distancing expectations. Failing to follow community standards or any other university policy or guidance related to COVID-19 health and safety may lead to administrative and/or disciplinary action in certain circumstances.

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

Online Learning and Remote Work

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.