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NCDHHS updates COVID-19 guidance for colleges and universities

NCDHHS emphasizes that colleges and universities must work to reduce risk of viral spread of COVID-19 both on and off-campus.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated guidance for colleges and universities following an increasing number of COVID-19 cases at school across NC.

NCDHHS emphasizes that colleges and universities must work to reduce risk of viral spread of COVID-19 both on and off-campus. In compliance with existing Executive Orders, NCDHHS said colleges and universities should be requiring and enforcing that students and staff wear cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose and limit social gatherings — whether students are on-campus or off-campus.

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Health officials said institutions of higher education should use student codes of conduct and work in coordination with local law enforcement to ensure compliance for students. The guidance also recommends limiting on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings, and implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately to slow the spread of the virus.

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Since students have returned to campuses, NCDHHS said viral spread has increased, originating in communal living settings on and off-campus, social gatherings on and off-campus, and with athletic teams.