'Matter of time:' NC State students prepare for possible switch to remote learning amid COVID-19 clusters

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- COVID-19 cases are rising on NC State's campus, yet the university is staying the course and continuing to offer in-person classes.

Some students are uneasy learning in this environment during a pandemic.

"I am not the biggest fan of the fact that we have in-person classes just because of all this, but we are social distancing in class," said sophomore Maguire Mulik.

Junior Jasmine Smith says she packed light moving back to campus.

She doesn't want to haul a bunch of stuff out like last spring when she was forced to flee and is expecting a repeat this semester.

"I definitely feel like it is only going to be a matter of time," Smith said. "Even as soon as next month or so in my opinion."

Housing set aside to quarantine or isolate students is at 15 percent capacity and the school is a week-and-a-half into the fall semester.

According to NC State's tracking data, 56 students and one employee have tested positive in the last week.

A cluster of cases was identified at off-campus housing on Clark Avenue.

Some argue these numbers aren't a true a depiction of COVID-19's impact on NC State's campus.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Testing is not being required and officials are not conducting routine temperature checks.

Someone can test positive at an off-campus site and is just being asked to report the findings.

There's a petition calling for more oversight and more than 1,000 people are offering support.

Governor Roy Cooper says it is critical for schools to enforce guidelines and rules.

"Some of these universities have real good plans going in. Some of them need to learn lessons of what happened at UNC-Chapel Hill," said Cooper.

UNC was forced to roll back to remote learning after cases soared.

UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate classes to shift entirely online after multiple COVID-19 clusters reported, chancellor announces

NC State Spokesperson Lauren Barker said of the University's plan, "We base decisions on a variety of factors, including public health information, executive orders by the governor, UNC system guidelines and other relevant guidance."

Some students are choosing to live off-campus this year. They are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in communal living, such as dorms.
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