Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has updated guidance for institutions of higher education, further emphasizing 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, 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. 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.
Since students have returned to campuses, viral spread has increased, originating in communal living settings on and off campus, social gatherings on and off campus, and with athletic teams.
Given the lack of a vaccine and the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, higher education institutions should take aggressive action to limit the spread of the virus and protect campuses and surrounding communities.
To view NCDHHS and CDC guidance and recommendations for colleges and universities, visit the education section of the guidance webpage at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance.