NC State moves all undergraduate classes online as more than 500 students are in quarantine due to COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- All NC State undergraduate courses will be moving online for the remainder of the fall semester starting Monday, Aug. 24 after an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, the university's chancellor announced Thursday afternoon.

Graduate courses and clinical education will continue to meet in-person or in a hybrid format. The university's research laboratories will remain open and fully operational.

"We have also recently witnessed the negative impacts caused by those who did not take personal responsibility," Chancellor Randy Woodson wrote in a statement. "We've had reports of large parties in off-campus apartments. In the last two days alone, we've identified three COVID-19 clusters in off-campus and Greek Village houses that can be traced to parties and behavior outside of our community standards and the governor's mandates. We're seeing significant infections in Greek life, and at this time there have been another seven Greek houses that have been quarantined due to a number of additional positive cases."

In a news conference Thursday, Woodson said most students had been following the university's health requirements, particularly in on-campus residence halls and in classrooms.

"We were following every guideline that was made available to us, and we still feel good about the things that we've done and we have control of on camps," Woodson said.

He emphasized that the majority of students quarantined are in off-campus housing.

"When you look at our students and you interact with our students, you'll see that the vast majority are taking this seriously. They're protecting the pack," Woodson said. "The behavior of a few has jeopardized the ability for us to go forward for all of our students in the way that our students wanted us to."

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"The vast majority are taking this seriously--they're protecting the pack," NCSU Chancellor Woodson said Thursday after announcing that all undergrad classes would have to be moved online for the rest of the semester.

The university says it currently has more than 500 students in quarantine and isolation, mostly off-campus. At least 41 more students tested positive for the virus since Wednesday.

Students would be allowed to cancel their university housing contract with no penalty and will reimburse the prorated amount for housing and dining based on the number of days lived on campus. The university will release more information on housing and dining in the future.

WATCH | Students react to NC State moving all undergraduate classes online
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Woodson said the decision to move online would allow students to feel safe or continue studies while in quarantine.

"For those students to continue to receive the education they deserve and this university wants for them, online is a great option," Woodson siad.

NC State is now the second school in the UNC System to move undergraduate classes online. UNC-Chapel Hill made the same move just a few days prior.

NC State Athletics says student-athletes will continue to attend online classes and have the option to remain in their on or off-campus housing. Practices and workouts for teams will continue under established protocol by the university's athletics department and local health officials.

Despite the closures, Woodson reinstated that the university will remain open but will "look different next week than it does today."

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