NC State in the News: COVID-19

NC State news is shared far and wide. Below are just some of our recent appearances in local, regional, national and international media publications related to COVID-19.

A woven copper wolf against green foliage.

May 2020 Media Mentions

Going Out This Memorial Day? Best Practices for a Safe Holiday

Published May 22, 2020 | Cheddar
“We don’t have any data that food is a transmission route for SARS-CoV-2,” said Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. He said the virus could technically land on a piece of food, as someone coughs, breathes heavily, or talks loudly near you, but it’s not likely to survive the trip into your digestive system.

NC State, UNC-CH will start fall semester early and end by Thanksgiving due to COVID-19

Published May 21, 2020 | The News & Observer
Students and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University will be back on campus for the fall semester earlier than planned because of the coronavirus pandemic. N.C. State will begin its 2020-21 academic year on Aug. 10, nine days earlier than originally scheduled. There will be no fall break, and finals will take place before Thanksgiving.

UNC-CH, NCSU to resume classes on campus in August

Published May 21, 2020 | WRAL
N.C. State is taking a similar route to resuming classes on campus, Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a letter to students, faculty and staff. Classes will start nine days earlier than previously scheduled. Fall break has been canceled and finals will be held before a combined Thanksgiving and winter break. “The driving factor behind this schedule is the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff,” Woodson said. “Many public health experts believe our nation and our state could face a second wave of COVID-19 sometime in late fall or early winter. This guidance led us to start and finish the semester early in an effort to try and stay ahead of a potential second wave.”

This is what happens when you swim during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published May 20, 2020 | Ladders
“A general rule of thumb is that outdoors tends to be better than indoors, small groups are better than large groups and a shorter period of time is better than a longer one, said Julie Swann, head of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in a recent media release.

Universities overcome bumps in transition to online teaching

Published May 20, 2020 | Physics Today
Overall, the wholesale transition to remote teaching created a mad scramble and a lot of improvisation. But many faculty say they’ve learned things they’ll take forward for future online teaching and for when in-person classes resume. Jonathan Wurtele of the University of California, Berkeley, notes that his campus occasionally closes due to smoke from nearby fires. “We will put the knowledge of remote teaching to use in the future,” he says. Similarly, Karen Daniels of North Carolina State University says she’d be comfortable teaching remotely for a day or so if she leaves town to attend a conference. But, she says, “even if we have found replacements for all the parts of a normal face-to-face class, it’s not the same. We are not delivering what we need to.”

Smaller retailers among coronavirus’ NC victims

Published May 19, 2020 | WRAL
“Small businesses operate on very small cushions. They don’t have a lot of money in the bank to carry them through,” North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden said. “Even if they got a Payroll Protection [Program] loan, that may not be enough to carry them through for however many months it’s going to take for the economy to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

The Ethics of Plastic Waste During the Pandemic

Published May 19, 2020 | Outside
So is it OK to use cloth bags? Probably, but you need to take some extra precautions when doing so. (And do not expect a cashier to handle them.) Research from the National Institutes of Health shows the virus can live up to 24 hours on cardboard. To be safe, assume the same is true for cloth. However, like washing your hands, washing your bags will kill the virus. The North Carolina State University extension office recommends washing cloth bags in warm water with laundry detergent. If you’ve got reusable plastic or nylon bags, it’s recommended that you wash them inside and out with warm, soapy water and spray them with disinfectant or diluted bleach. And always wash your hands after putting everything away.

North Carolina exceeds $2 billion in unemployment insurance benefit payments

Published May 18, 2020 | Winston-Salem Journal
Michael Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University, projects the N.C. April jobless rate to be similar to the U.S. rate or slightly higher. “The next question is whether the April rate is the worst,” Walden said. “If the economy begins to open up, hopefully we’ll see some job creation in May.”

Is it really safe to eat out now?

Published May 18, 2020 | Mashed
Given these concerns, you’re well within your rights to do research on a restaurant to get details on safety practices and standards as it applies to both guests and staff. If a restaurant is ready to operate under the new normal, it will have taken advice from food safety experts, and will be happy to say so. North Carolina State University professor and food safety specialist Benjamin Chapman tells The New York Times you want to hear things like: “We’re taking this seriously. We’ve trained our staff on how to wear masks, on the importance of hand washing and hand sanitizing. We’ve changed what we’re doing to ensure that we’re practicing social and physical distancing to keep you safe.”

Education leaders fear COVID-19 will lead to kids falling behind on reading

Published May 18, 2020 | WCNC
Some education officials however, question how much is achieved during summer programs and say the risk needs to be weighed. A 2018 study by North Carolina State University found the North Carolina’s Read to Achieve program has had little gains for third-graders, with five years of test scores showing only slight improvements.

So you really want to see your friends? Here’s how to assess the risk

Published May 16, 2020 | Los Angeles Times
A general rule of thumb is that outdoors tends to be better than indoors, small groups are better than large groups and a shorter period of time is better than a longer one, said Julie Swann, head of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

How long can the coronavirus live on various surfaces? Curious Texas investigates

Published May 15, 2020 | The Dallas Morning News
“There’s a chance that the food employee in the window is sick, but likely the food business is following employee health policies and local health department recommendations to keep these individuals home,” Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, told CNN.

Is It Safe to Go Out to Eat?

Published May 15, 2020 | The New York Times
Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, who has collaborated on a training program to help restaurants in his state manage their response to the coronavirus, said that among the things he would hope to hear are: “We’re taking this seriously. We’ve trained our staff on how to wear masks, on the importance of hand washing and hand sanitizing. We’ve changed what we’re doing to ensure that we’re practicing social and physical distancing to keep you safe.”

Some states that have reopened during pandemic aren’t seeing spike in coronavirus infections

Published May 14, 2020 | WRAL
But Alun Lloyd, a mathematical biologist at North Carolina State University, said he believes it’s way too early to tell whether Georgia and South Carolina made the right call. He points to inconsistencies in other states that opened earlier. “I think we need to be a bit careful,” Lloyd said.

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Some Scientists Bring the Bench Home

Published May 13, 2020 | The Scientist
Hannah Burrack, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, works with a variety of insects that require care several times per week. Because her colonies contain animals that can be collected in North Carolina, they were not considered unrecoverable resources, meaning that as the university shut down to limit the spread of COVID-19, her team would not be able to enter the lab to maintain them.

Some states that have reopened during pandemic aren’t seeing spike in coronavirus infections

Published May 13, 2020 | WRAL
But Alun Lloyd, a mathematical biologist at North Carolina State University, said he believes it’s way too early to tell whether Georgia and South Carolina made the right call. He points to inconsistencies in other states that opened earlier. “I think we need to be a bit careful,” Lloyd said.

North Carolina produce farms report coronavirus outbreaks

Published May 13, 2020 | WXII
Food safety specialists at North Carolina State University have told produce farms that their produce is safe to sell and eat, as coronavirus isn’t a food-borne pathogen, according to our NBC affiliate WRAL.

A Heartbreak for Children: When the County Fair is Cancelled

Published May 13, 2020 | The New York Times
In another, Jacob Meads, who belongs to the North Carolina 4-H livestock program, shows off Buckeye, Little Dude and Third Chance — a lamb wearing a coat who has a ball in his pen “so he don’t get bored.”

Why antibodies are crucial to fighting viruses

Published May 12, 2020 | Futurity
You may have heard news reports explaining that antibody tests are key to slowing the infection rate. You may also have heard medical experts warn that having the antibodies may not guarantee immunity against a second COVID-19 infection. Here, Jonathan Fogle, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at North Carolina State University, explains what antibodies are and why they are so important…

Survey finds 50 percent of parents worry about their child’s health if they return to playing sports

Published May 12, 2020 | Yahoo!
A survey of parents with children ages 8 to 18 who have played organized sports in the past year indicates that fear of the pandemic will play a large factor in when youth leagues can return, and that those leagues shouldn’t expect all of their participants back. The study was conducted in mid-May by North Carolina State University in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, Utah State University and George Mason University.

1,000 coronavirus particles can infect you. Here’s how to avoid hitting that threshold

Published May 11, 2020 | WRAL
“Anytime you’re close to somebody, you’re increasing the risk of spreading that,” said Frank Scholle, a virologist at North Carolina State University. Scholle said he feels comfortable keeping a distance outside. The research, so far, shows that simply walking past someone in a park, or even a store, is a fairly low-risk scenario.

Plants4Kids: Developed by NC State professors, website seeks to get kids excited about science, discovery at home

Published May 10, 2020 | WRAL
Anna Stepanova and Jose Alonso are a wife-and-husband team with NC State University’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. They focus on plant hormones and how they influence gene activity, growth rates and other patterns. But they’re also parents of two kids, now teenagers, who wondered how to keep them busy during spring break one year.

Warning: We are going to pay big price for massive COVID-19 economic rescue packages

Published May 8, 2020 | WRAL
I have dubbed the economic damage caused by the virus the “mandated recession”. The current recession – and, indeed, we are in a recession – is unlike any of its predecessors. Typical recessions are caused by some “excess” in the economy, the most common being an over-indulgence in private debt. – Editor’s note: Dr. Mike Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.

To get COVID-19 funding, NC officials must give more data on tests, deaths, recoveries

Published May 4, 2020 | The News & Observer
Julie Swann, an N.C. State University professor who has worked with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concurred. “People want to know who is at risk,” Swann said. But with all of this, Swann said, the agency will have to work carefully to make sure it complies with federal law on medical privacy. And that could take additional time.

NASA astronaut’s Christina Koch’s tips for handling quarantine

Published May 4, 2020 | WRAL
Christina Koch describes what it’s like being back on Earth and shares some advice for how to handle isolation.

Coronavirus local updates: North Carolina releases case counts, deaths at congregate care facilities

Published May 1, 2020 | WSOC
The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), the trade association behind NC’s $32.4 billion hospitality industry, sent a letter to NC Governor Roy Cooper on April 30 urging him to allow restaurants to begin to offer social-distanced patio and dine-in service as soon as possible. To help prepare restaurants for reopening, NCRLA today introduced the “North Carolina Restaurant Promise” — a list of public health commitments made by restaurants and guests — along with an associated training program developed by NC State University reflecting CDC guidance and best practices.

NC makes tentative plans to reopen, as residents urge caution and new COVID-19 cases confirmed

Published May 1 | The News & Observer
N.C. State University students who need to recover belongings from residence halls can begin doing so this weekend. Residents can sign up for a specific checkout time through May 10.

As students return to get their stuff out of dorms, colleges enact special safety rules

Published May 1, 2020 | The News & Observer
N.C. State University students who left campus and their belongings in residence halls after the university moved to online classes can start retrieving their things this weekend. Residents can sign up for a specific checkout time between May 1 and May 10.

Smithfield’s largest slaughterhouse struggling to contain virus

Published May 1, 2020 | North Carolina Health News
“If they start killing off their pigs, that’s gonna hurt them financially and they’re already hurting financially,” said Rob Handfield, a professor of operations and supply chain management at N.C. State University. “It could be the last thing for some of these farms, potentially. That’s what worries me.”

April 2020 Media Mentions

Foodborne illnesses continue to rise as efforts to prevent them fail

Published April 30, 2020 | CNN
“Covid-19 is caused by a different pathogen, with a different mode of transmission, different biology, different epidemiology,” said food safety expert Benjamin Chapman, a professor in the department of agricultural and human sciences at North Carolina State University, who was not involved in the report.

Coronavirus and food: Does cooking kill it?

Published April 30, 2020 | Fox News
Despite the unlikely spread through food, restaurant workers are using heightened food safety measures, including frequent hand washing, cleaning surfaces and utensils, cooking food at the right temperatures and staying home when they feel sick, according to Live Science. “It’s not that it’s not possible,” Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, tells Live Science. “There’s always this possibility. But I want to make the best risk management decision based on the best science and evidence, and we just don’t have any evidence” of transmission through food.

The “woman’s work” of the pandemic

Published April 30, 2020 | Vox
That’s especially true because it’s not just about chopping, stirring, and sautéing. “The cognitive labor of getting food on the table has increased,” Sarah Bowen, a sociology professor at North Carolina State University and co-author of Pressure Cooker, told Vox. Shortages of staples like flour mean it can be harder to find everything a family needs, and public health officials have advised people to minimize shopping trips in order to limit exposure to the virus, meaning shoppers have to get everything they need in one weekly or biweekly trip.

Scientists reveal best material for DIY masks

Published April 28, 2020 | Parentology
Dr. James S. Guy, clinical microbiologist from the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology at North Carolina State University found that coronavirus particles are between 80 and 120 nanometers in diameter.

NC’s college campuses hope for ‘normal fall opening,’ but they have backup plans, too

Published April 28, 2020 | The News & Observer
N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson said the university expects a “normal fall opening” with all 36,000 new and returning students on campus in August. But N.C. State is preparing to adjust for how COVID-19 might force schools to offer something different, including a fully online semester.

‘Precipitous’ Decline In Hemp And Cannabis M&A Continuing Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Published April 27, 2020 | Forbes
The coronavirus has intensified the impact of the CBD price crash, Marty Clemons, director of the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Coalition, said. “The long-term viability of the industry depends on fiber and food developing,” Clemons said, noting that some institutions and large companies have been shifting toward sustainable fiber. For example, the North Carolina State University School of Textiles has pivoted to solely sustainable fibers.

What will NC State look like when students return? Here’s what the chancellor says.

Published April 27, 2020 | Triangle Business Journal
N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson says he is planning to bring students back to campus in the fall – though he anticipates a number of social-distancing measures will remain in place.

When NC businesses reopen, customers may be asked to sign waivers

Published April 27, 2020 | WRAL
Dr. Mike Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University, said the process of businesses reopening will happen, but it will be slow. “Businesses and consumers will both need to learn what to do, how to do it,” Walden said.

Everybody in the Pool: Researchers Use Algorithms to Tackle the Coronavirus Test Shortage

Published April 24, 2020 | IEEE Spectrum
I spoke with Dror Baron, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University and an IEEE senior member, about his work in developing algorithms for this kind of coronavirus test processing, as well as related efforts by the worldwide computer science and engineering community.

Why It’s a Really, Really Bad Idea to Consume Disinfectants

Published April 24, 2020 | Yahoo! Life
“Do not do that,” warns Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., food safety expert at North Carolina State University. He previously told Men’s Health that ingesting Lysol only increases your risk of becoming seriously ill, which is what you want to avoid in the first place.

Latest on coronavirus as US deaths top 50,000

Published April 24, 2020 | WRAL
“This is ironic – our faster growth in recent years has attracted numerous small businesses and start-ups. With many of these businesses not being well-established, they don’t have the resources to fall back on during an economic shutdown. Their only option is to dramatically scale back or close,” said Mike Walden, a North Carolina State University economist.

You Should Never Drink Bleach or Inject Disinfectants to Treat Coronavirus

Published April 24, 2020 | Men’s Health
“Do not do that,” warns Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., food safety expert at North Carolina State University. He previously told Men’s Health that ingesting Lysol only increases your risk of becoming seriously ill, which is what you want to avoid in the first place.

No need to wipe down groceries or takeout, experts say, but do wash your hands

Published April 23, 2020 | CNN
Food safety expert Benjamin Chapman agreed. “There’s no magic number in this because temperature matters, humidity matters, how much virus was put there in the first place matters,” said Chapman, a professor in the department of agricultural and human sciences at North Carolina State University.

Stuck inside? Take your kids on an indoor safari!

Published April 23, 2020 | National Geographic
I’d gotten the idea from Rob Dunn, an ecologist at North Carolina State University. For about a year and a half, Dunn and his colleagues have been encouraging people to catalogue all the invertebrates living among us on a free app called iNaturalist (sponsored in part by the National Geographic Society).

NC State farm manager harvests solo amid COVID-19 to fight food insecurity

Published April 23, 2020 | WTVD
ABC11 together is highlighting good deeds in the community as the NC State farm manager helps fight food insecurity. “I’m doing a lot of weeding and mowing,” Alison Reeves said. Those tasks are ones her students normally help out with but these days, Reeves is reaping solo. “We have planted tomatoes, carrots, swiss chard and beets,” Reeves said. Everything her students at the NC State Agroecology Education Farm grow goes from farm to table. Despite shutdowns and social distancing reeves still produces enough to supply.

How to Ease Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published April 23, 2020 | Consumer Reports
Though stress and anxiety may seem inescapable at the moment, all the experts we spoke with said you can take steps to reign them both in. “You can learn resilience,” says Shevaun D. Neupert, Ph.D., a psychology professor at North Carolina State University. But in the current situation, experts say, you may need to think slightly outside the box. “It’s important to recognize that our lives are very disrupted right now, and your tried-and-true coping strategies may not work. Be okay with that and look for new ones,” Neupert adds. Here, traditional strategies along with some newer actions that may soothe your mood.

Strawberry farmers working hard to keep food and people safe

Published April 22, 2020 | Statesville Record & Landmark
“We are constantly adapting to the changing environment,” said Douglas Patterson, owner/vice president of Patterson Farm, Inc. in China Grove. “We are developing plans now by talking to growers we know in other states and eastern North Carolina. Also, we resource the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and North Carolina State University Extension and Food Safety Researchers for recommendations.”

Fort Bragg Soldiers Sew Masks to Help Fight COVID-19

Published April 21, 2020 | International Business Times
At the outset, the goal of producing 600 masks a week has been set by Capt. Williams. In an interview with The Associated Press, the Company Commander proudly said that due to the adaptability and resilience of the soldiers, they are now producing 600 masks a day. The North Carolina State University also gave the parachute rigging unit 4,000 meters of unwoven material, which the soldiers are now using to make new personal protective equipment.

Can the air stay clean after COVID-19? New numbers are promising, but the public must act.

Published April 19, 2020 | News & Observer
It’s an illustration that clean air is not some Utopian fantasy of climate change activists. It’s very attainable. But is there any way to conquer this virus without surrendering this cleaner air when normal economic activity resumes? We took this question to Viney Aneja, an air quality professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University. Aneja, the recipient of the 2007 North Carolina Science Award, developed one of the nation’s leading air-quality and climate research programs at N.C. State. “The is a teaching moment,” he said. “We should learn from it. We should promote behavior that will allow air quality to be as good as it is outside right now.”

Fort Bragg soldiers make masks to fight coronavirus pandemic

Published April 19, 2020 | Army Times
North Carolina State University donated 4,000 meters of unwoven material that’s being used to construct new personal protective equipment.

Gastonia native leads N.C. State’s face shield production

Published April 16, 2020 | Gaston Gazette
When shortages of personal protective equipment crept across the United States, a Gastonia native took the lead of North Carolina State University’s effort to produce face shields. Matt White graduated from North Gaston High School in 2014 and moved to Raleigh to pursue industrial engineering at N.C. State. White’s now a graduate research assistant at N.C. State, where he focuses in integrated manufacturing systems engineering and works at the college’s Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics.

Coronavirus cuts into city, county budgets

Published April 16, 2020 | WRAL
“In a time of uncertainty, you don’t even know what you are going to need or what you are going to have, which really creates a perfect storm of a catastrophe in the budgeting world,” said Bruce McDonald, associate professor of public budgeting and financing at North Carolina State University.

The Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables So You Don’t Get Sick

Published April 14, 2020 | Yahoo! Life
People are changing their hand washing, laundry, and eating habits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the fear of getting sick by eating contaminated food has led to some questionable cleaning practices, such as washing produce with soap or diluted chlorine. Some people have even been spraying their food with Lysol. “Do not do that,” warns Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., food safety expert at North Carolina State University. The novel coronavirus doesn’t change the rules of washing produce, says Chapman. First, there’s no evidence that you can contract COVID-19 from food. And second, experts recommend following the same food safety practices for COVID-19 as you normally would, he explains.

You Decide: What ‘letter’ will the economic recovery follow?

Published April 13, 2020 | The Coastland Times
But in terms of the economy, what will “normal” be after the virus crisis? Will the economy simply pick up where it left off? Will jobs, incomes, sales and stock values come back as quickly as they went away? Or will we be in for a long period of modest improvements, with years passing before we fully recover? – By Dr. Mike Walden, a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook and public policy.

How Colleges Can Support Students With Disabilities During Remote Learning

Published April 13, 2020 | Diverse
Dr. Jessica Hunt, associate professor of mathematics education and special education in the College of Education at North Carolina State University (NC State), said “one size definitely does not fit all” when it comes to students with disabilities. “The critical question becomes how to make sure remote learning is accessible and minimize barriers students may have to accessing and making sense of information as well as receiving services in the home,” she added. “In terms of access, it is also important to note that students need options and choices to work successfully from home. This is especially important from an equity stance more broadly because not all students have access to devices or reliable internet services.”

Coronavirus: How to stay safe during grocery store visits 

Published April 13, 2020 | Fox News
Benjamin Chapman, a professor of food safety at North Carolina State University told the Wall Street Journal he believes the best reason to bring wipes is to wipe down your grocery cart. They can also be used for high-risk areas in the store like refrigerator or freezer handles.

Local Governments Could Lose Millions Because Of Pandemic

Published April 10, 2020 | WUNC
County governments in North Carolina could lose an average of $4 million in sales tax revenue as a result of changed spending habits caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to an ongoing study from N.C. State University.

Is it safe To Order Food Delivery During The Pandemic? 

Published April 12, 2020 | World Atlas
The FDA also stated that no evidence shows a link from food or food packaging to coronavirus transmission. Food safety expert and North Carolina State University professor Benjamin Chapman added that it has not been shown that people can contract the virus from consuming food.

A food safety expert on why you’re unlikely to get the coronavirus from groceries or takeout

Published April 10, 2020 | Vox
I was the 136th journalist to interview Ben Chapman this month. That’s not exactly surprising — we are in the middle of a pandemic, and Chapman is a food safety specialist who studies foodborne illness and has a podcast about how to avoid it. The North Carolina State University professor has been all over newspapers, radio shows, and websites like this one discussing how not to contract or spread the coronavirus through cooking, shopping, and food delivery.

Coronavirus total approaches 4,000 in NC; third Orange County nursing home resident dies

Published April 10, 2020 | The News & Observer
“You need to account for that time lag, which is approximate 14 days,” said Julie Swann, an NC State University professor who has worked with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We can’t shelter in place forever: How the coronavirus lockdown might end

Published April 10, 2020 | Los Angeles Times 
Julie Swann, head of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, said she expects the strict stay-at-home orders will be lifted before a vaccine is found — an endeavor that could take another year at least.

NC Universities Get Inventive To Fight Coronavirus

Published April 10, 2020 | UNC-TV
North Carolina State University’s Nonwovens Institute is manufacturing a filtering material that can produce up to 500,000 surgical masks per day. These masks will be used to protect health care workers and first responders on the front lines fighting the effects of COVID-19.

Navigating Your Life During Coronavirus

Published April 10, 2020 | The Wall Street Journal
Since coronavirus hit, many homeowners are hiring companies with specialized tools and chemicals to disinfect their homes as a way to protect themselves and their families from the deadly infection. This story breaks down how they work, and also digs into the question of when or if people should use them. Lee-Ann Jaykus, a North Carolina State University professor who specializes in food microbiology and virology, is reluctant to recommend their use in a residential setting. Try to minimize visits to the store. “The biggest risk factor is really being around other people,” says Benjamin Chapman, a professor of food safety at North Carolina State University.

To Keep Covid-19 at Bay, Americans Turn to Cleaning Services

Published April 9, 2020 | The Wall Street Journal
Because Covid-19 is so new, there hasn’t been any academic research on the effectiveness of disinfectant sprayers and foggers in killing the coronavirus, says Lee-Ann Jaykus, a North Carolina State University professor who specializes in food microbiology and virology. Prof. Jaykus was the co-author of a 2017 study that looked at the efficacy of a disinfectant fogger in killing two viruses that are common, but unrelated to the virus that causes Covid-19. The research, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, found that fogging with disinfectants containing chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide—chemicals commonly used in commercial applications—was able to inactivate viruses studied and get to hard-to-reach places. That said, Prof. Jaykus was reluctant to recommend their use in a residential setting.

Local Schools Step Up Efforts Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Published April 9, 2020 | Raleigh Magazine
“We’re really trying to put out actionable suggestions on what should be done to deal with different types of issues,” says Frank Buckless, dean of the Poole College of Management. “This is very rough on our small businesses and we are trying to be a resource and help them be resilient and be able to survive this.”

Pandemic could drive cities, counties across North Carolina into financial crisis 

Published April 9, 2020 | Triangle Business Journal
With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening a long list of businesses and industries across the country and slashing consumer spending, new research out of N.C. State suggests it could also drive many of the state’s counties into financial collapse.

Massive Rates Of Unemployment In NC Could Spell Trouble For The Future Of Work

Published on April 9, 2020 | WUNC
Steve McDonald is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State University focusing on labor markets and economic inequality. Noncitizen workers and gig workers were already some of the most vulnerable laborers, he says, and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will force a reckoning with weaknesses in American work culture…

Your risk from getting COVID-19 appears super low

Published on Apr 9, 2020 | Futurity
As the world grapples with COVID-19, people have a lot of questions about how to best protect themselves. Many of those questions have to do with food. Here, Lee-Ann Jaykus and Ben Chapman, both microbiologists at North Carolina State University, share the best available information on food safety, and what risks are associated with…

NCSU uses 3D printing tech to produce 200 face shields a day for WakeMed

Published on April 8, 2020 | WRAL Tech Wire
North Carolina State University remains committed to assisting the health care workers who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19. NC State’s Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL) is using 3D printers to create face shields…

Why You Shouldn’t Wash Produce With Soap During The Coronavirus Crisis

Published on April 8, 2020 | Huffington Post
Based on research related to foodborne illnesses and other viruses, somewhere between 90% and 99% of what’s on the produce can be removed with running water, explains Ben Chapman, a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University…

How to shop for groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on April 8, 2020 | Fox News

With restaurants and schools closed during pandemic, NC dairies forced to dump milk

Published on April 8, 2020 | WRAL
Stephanie Ward, a dairy specialist at North Carolina State University, said half of the milk produced in North Carolina – the state ranks 28th nationally – flows into the food service chain, which includes restaurants and schools. Prices have dropped to historic lows in recent years, she said…

NC State 3D printing face shields for WakeMed employees

Published on April 7, 2020 | CBS17
Just days after announcing that the school is helping produce thousands of face masks, N.C. State University is now creating face shields using 3D printing technology.

How To Deal If Your Kid Hates Remote Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Published on April 6, 2020 | Huffington Post
“Most of us aren’t trained as teachers. Many of us are also working. Most of us are doing the best we can,” Kim Allen, a human development specialist with NC State University, told HuffPost…

How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables to Protect Against Coronavirus

Published April 6, 2020 | Men’s Health
Some people even spray their food with Lysol. “Do not do that,” warns Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., food safety expert at North Carolina State University. According to its manufacturer, Lysol isn’t meant to be ingested and doing so could make you really sick, says Chapman. 

The CDC released a guide on how to make a face mask without sewing skills. Materials include a bandana, a coffee filter, and hair ties.

Published April 6, 2020 | Business Insider
“Homemade masks may give more peace of mind than actual physical protection,” textile engineer Emiel DenHartog, Associate Director of the Textile Protection and Comfort Center at North Carolina State University, previously told Business Insider.

Coronavirus pandemic lays bare the limits of the president

Published April 5, 2020 | Washington Times
“In our federal system, the federal government exists to support the actions of state and local governments,” said Thomas A. Birkland, an associate dean at North Carolina State University. “The federal government doesn’t run the fire department. The local governments run the fire department.”

A Necessary Filter

Published April 3, 2020 | Textile World
NC State’s Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is using its two research and training pilot production lines to produce face mask materials that will be used to protect medical workers on the front lines of fighting the effects of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Fears Push Back Bans on Single Use Plastic Bags

Published April 3, 2020 | The Weather Channel
Recommendations on food safety from North Carolina State University says that “at this time, there is no link between reusable bags and COVID-19.”

March 2020 Media Mentions

Psychologists recommend combining 2 strategies to combat daily stress

Published March 29, 2020 | Inverse
In a recent study conducted by researchers from North Carolina State University, it was found that the best way to weather stress was by incorporating two strategies into daily life: proactive coping and mindfulness.

Try These Tips to Keep Your Cool at Home

Published on March 28, 2020 | Government Executive
There are positive ways to deal with your stress, and that of your children if you have them, writes Kimberly Allen, an associate professor and director of graduate programs in the department of youth, family, and community sciences at North Carolina State University…

NCSU making face shields for workers on the front line of the coronavirus crisis

NCSU engineers making plastic face shields for healthcare workers

Published on March 28, 2020 | WRAL
Engineers with N.C. State are creating plastic face shields to help with the shortage of protective gear during the coronavirus outbreak…

NC State students make face shields for hospitals amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published on March 28, 2020 | WNCN
Many people are stepping up in our community to help amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including a group of graduate students at North Carolina State University…

N.C. State Manufactures Face Shields to Combat COVID-19

Published on March 28, 2020 | Spectrum News
N.C. State engineers are spending the weekend fighting COVID-19. Saturday, grad students manufactured disposable face shields, which will be distributed to healthcare professionals across the state…

A New York hospital is treating two patients on a device intended for one

Published March 27, 2020 | The Washington Post
Unlike the disastrous shortage of protective equipment for front-line health-care workers, the scarcity of ventilators is not easily attributed to the government’s failure to stock enough for a pandemic, said Julie Swann, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University who studies the resilience of supply chains in such events.

LESLIE BONEY: Coping with COVID-19 reveals serious broadband gaps

Published on March 27, 2020 | WRAL
Thanks to a stealthy, spiky, virus, we’re getting a nationwide lesson in the challenging state of our broadband infrastructure. Leslie Boney is the director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University…

Living in the moment while planning ahead may help manage stress better: Study

Published on March 27, 2020 | The Week
“It’s well established that daily stressors can make us more likely to have negative affect, or bad moods,” said Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State University and corresponding author of a study…

UNC, NC State raise $1 million and counting to help students affected by coronavirus

Published March 26, 2020 | The News & Observer
N.C. State University has raised more than $658,000 to help those students through its Student Emergency Fund. The university has helped more than 200 students and distributed more than $104,000 since March 3.

Lack of data keeps it unclear whether, when NC will ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus cases

Published March 26, 2020 | WRAL
“Social distancing is all about buying time,” says Dr. Alun Lloyd, a mathematical biologist at North Carolina State University specializing in infectious disease spread.

Try These Tips to Keep Your Cool at Home

Published on March 26, 2020 | Futurity
There are positive ways to deal with your stress, and that of your children if you have them, writes Kimberly Allen, an associate professor and director of graduate programs in the department of youth, family, and community sciences at North Carolina State University…

Published March 25, 2020 | AP News
“We buy at the same stores,” said Paul Lunn, dean of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, which on Monday turned over two full-service ventilators, 500 protective suits and 950 masks for use in area hospitals. “There’s no difference in the equipment.”

NCSU professor examines impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

Published on March 24, 2020 | WRAL
Julie Swann, an N.C. State University professor whose research covers the spread of influenza pandemics, access to health care and disruption of humanitarian supply chains, looks at the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and compares it to the H1N1 flu a decade ago…

When will ‘social distancing’ end?

Published on March 24, 2020 | Live Science
“I tell my family, ‘This is our new normal. We’re going to get used to it,'” said Julie Swann, head of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University…

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

Published March 20, 2020 | Serious Eats
To answer these questions, I referenced dozens of articles and scientific reports and enlisted the help of Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist from the North Carolina State University and cohost of Risky or Not and Food Safety Talk, as well as Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, and Dr. Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist and infection preventionist. 

You’ve Got Mail. Will You Get the Coronavirus?

Published March 24, 2020 | The New York Times
Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University who studies the interaction of pathogens and surfaces, agreed that although the virus can persist on packages, these have not been identified as a risk factor for transmission. Nonetheless, he said, “I’d just wash my hands after handling,” rather than spray with Lysol or wipe with bleach. “I want to preserve the good sanitizers for risky things, and hand washing works just as well as spraying.”

Hand Sanitizer: Is More Coming? What Can You Do in the Meantime?

Published March 23, 2020 | U.S. News & World Report
The WHO recipe is set up for industrial-size batches; for example, it calls for 2 gallons of isopropyl alcohol and a bit more if you’re using ethanol. But experts at the North Carolina State University have whittled it down to “household-sized” amounts. Here is that recipe…

Are food deliveries and groceries safe during coronavirus pandemic? Yes, experts say

Published March 20, 2020 | CNN
More reassuring news: There’s little risk in contracting the virus from food or food packaging picked up at a takeout window or from a restaurant, said Benjamin Chapman, who is a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University. “I want to be clear that food or the packages could carry the virus, but the risk of transmission is very, very low,” Chapman said. “This is a remote possibility and thousands if not millions of times less likely than any of the other exposure routes. Really, really low risk.”

Prospective college students in limbo as coronavirus halts classes, tests

Published March 24, 2020 | WRAL
Jon Westover, director of undergraduate admissions at North Carolina State University, said the state should give public guidance on what changes they can make. “Freshmen, sophomores and juniors will have some kind of an odd situation for this particular year on their transcript,” he said. “Hopefully the system and DPI get together and make sure everybody understands.”

Even with increased testing, predicting the spread of coronavirus remains a challenge

Published March 23, 2020 | The News & Observer
Figuring out how much expanded testing has contributed to the increase in COVID-19 cases is difficult, said mathematical biologist Alun Lloyd, Drexel Professor of Mathematics at NC State University.

‘Good Read From An Immunologist’ Post Misstates Reasons for COVID-19’s Virulence

Published March 23, 2020 | Snopes
Matt Koci, a professor of immunology, virology, and host-pathogen interactions at North Carolina State University told us by email that while “biology is more complicated than that,” the “lack of no one in the human population having any prior immunity to is a major factor to why this is so much worse than seasonal flu.” Another factor, he told us, is that a few anti-viral drugs have been developed that blunt the impact of some influenza strains, but no such tool exists for the coronavirus.

To Stay Afloat, the Restaurant Business Clings to ‘Contactless Delivery’ 

Published March 19, 2020 | The New York Times
Contactless delivery and pickup is “a very safe alternative, especially for those who are in high-risk groups for COVID-19, the older people with weak immune systems,” said Dr. Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University.

Empty Grocery Store Shelves: What to Know

Published March 18, 2020 | Spectrum News
“What we’re seeing is people are starting to hoard,” said Robert Handfield, a professor of supply chain management at North Carolina State University. Handfield says the empty stores are not a supply but rather a distribution and replenishment issue. “People aren’t going to be using more paper towels or suddenly eating more rice or beans,” he said. “Some people are just buying things. It’s a sheer panic.”

NCSU experts recommend protecting pets during coronavirus pandemic

Published March 18, 2020 | WRAL
NCSU experts recommend keeping your pets safe if someone in your family is ill, especially if you suspect or are confirmed to have coronavirus.

No need to stock up on food, toilet paper during coronavirus pandemic, experts say

Published March 17, 2020 | WRAL
Rob Handfield, a professor of operations and supply chain management at North Carolina State University, says there’s no need for people to buy more than what they need.

‘This is going to be a big deal’ | Economic expert: NC could lose up to 100,000 jobs due to COVID-19

Published March 17, 2020 | WCNC
“This is going to be a big deal, this going to be noticeable, this is not going to be a blip, this is going to affect virtually every part of the economy,” said Dr. Michael Walden, professor of economics for North Carolina State University.

A message from NC State Chancellor Woodson about COVID-19

Published March 17, 2020 | The News & Observer
NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson discusses changes made to university operations in light of COVID-19. The university and the UNC System as a whole has ordered all students off campuses as the state battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Should you get groceries delivered? Wash them? Tips for safe food shopping amid fears.

Published March 17, 2020 | The News & Observer
Ben Chapman, a professor and food safety expert at N.C. State University, says that washing or cleaning our groceries when we return home from a store really isn’t necessary, since food and food packaging has not been identified as a risk factor, according to available research.

A year without conferences? How the coronavirus pandemic could change research

Published March 16, 2020 | Nature
“If anything, the talk quality was easier to see,” says Karen Daniels, a physicist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “Nobody’s head was blocking your way.” Daniels, who spearheaded the effort to move the soft-matter-physics talks online, says that after some minor hiccups in reformatting the meeting, everything went very smoothly. One of the sessions she organized had about 100 virtual attendees.

Is it Safe to Eat Out, Grocery Shop in the Age of Coronavirus?

Published March 16, 2020 | Voice of America
Ben Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, says it is important for people to remember that, when it comes to coronavirus, the risks of eating out have nothing to do with the food itself. 

What are the rules of social distancing?

Published March 15, 2020 | Vox
If restaurants in your area reopen in coming weeks, or if they remain open, here are a few things to remember: “You mainly need to be mindful about the surfaces you touch: menus, the table, condiments, things that other patrons might have used,” says Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University.

Is It Safe to Order Food Delivery During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Here’s What Experts Say

Published March 13, 2020 | Health
Food safety expert Benjamin Chapman, PhD, a professor at North Carolina State University, believes the possibility of contracting coronavirus is not high. “As food or food packaging has not been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19 transmission, I would say the risk is very low,” Chapman tells Health.

Mike Walden: Could a virus take down the economy? You decide

Published March 13, 2020 | WRAL
I’ve recently been asked a new question about the economy when I speak to groups and organizations. It’s a question I haven’t heard in many years. The question is whether the coronavirus that has hit the world – including the U.S. – could send us into a recession, or worse. – Dr. Mike Walden is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University who teaches and writes on personal finance, economic outlook, and public policy. 

Dine out or eat in during the coronavirus crisis? Here’s what public health and food safety experts say

Published March 11, 2020 | USA Today
“As things stand today, based on the information we have from the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) and information from local and state public health officials, I don’t see any basis for recommendations that people not dine out,” says food safety expert Benjamin Chapman, a professor at North Carolina State University. 

Column: As coronavirus spreads, how safe is a trip to the supermarket?

Published March 10, 2020 | Los Angeles Times
Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, said he’s mainly concerned about the prepared foods at supermarkets. The salads, pastas and whatnot may be protected from germs only by a sneeze guard, and typically feature tongs and serving spoons used by customers throughout the day. “Everybody who grabs the tongs has the ability to transfer a pathogen,” Chapman observed.

How the Coronavirus Is Hampering Science

Published March 10, 2020 | Scientific American
Most major scientific societies hold at least one conference per year, where far-flung members of a field can present their work, meet new collaborators and sift through ideas. Hörst, who is now an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, says that maybe 10 percent of her research papers are the result of a conversation she had at a conference when she was a graduate student. “You also go there to sit in the hallways and talk about what you just heard and your new ideas and what’s working and what’s not working,” says Karen Daniels, a physicist at North Carolina State University.

NC State economist says don’t panic as stock market falls during coronavirus outbreak

Published March 9, 2020 | WNCN
“Stock traders are worried,” said North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden. “The stock market is very worried. Why they have these triggers is because emotions can take over. The stock markets are reacting to this plunge in oil prices as a big negative for the world economy.”

Coronavirus nixes conference, twilight zone beckons and a faded star brightens

Published March 4, 2020 | Nature
“It was clear that nothing formal was possible, like recreating the whole meeting virtually”, so speakers were invited to post their own links to an online spreadsheet instead, says Karen Daniels, a physicist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who is leading one disciplinary effort.

Coronavirus Fears Cancel World’s Biggest Physics Meeting

Published March 3, 2020 | Scientific American
“It was clear that nothing formal was possible, like recreating the whole meeting virtually”, so speakers were invited to post their own links to an online spreadsheet, says Karen Daniels, a physicist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who is leading the effort. “This was all possible because there is a large enough Twitter presence among our membership to have gotten it started.” Several other APS divisions are considering similar initiatives, Daniels told Nature.