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ECU chancellor defends relocating quarantined students at Paramount 3800

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 1:05 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 1:33 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - East Carolina University’s interim chancellor this morning defended the university’s decision to move off-campus those who tested positive for COVID-19.

The university has a contract with Paramount 3800 to house students in isolation or in quarantine at the apartment complex.

The complex, at the intersection of US 264 and Highway 33, primarily houses ECU students. Several residents of the complex said they were never told that those with the virus were being relocated there.

Jalen Walston has been living here at Paramount 3800 for about a year and a half. And on top of the dirty conditions he’s endured, he’s also not comfortable with living with students in quarantine.

Walston said, “It, kind of, frightened me, because we didn’t really know. We didn’t even get an email.”

Dr. Ron Mitchelson said this morning that he felt that was the responsibility of the apartment complex and not the university.

Walston said, “I had to see it on Facebook. That’s the only way. Yea, they didn’t tell nobody.”

ECU did notify the university community when it discovered clusters of the virus in multiple dorms on campus.

Mitchelson said they have between 70 and 80 students now housed at the apartment complex and their plan is to eventually move them back on campus once other students move home now that ECU has shifted to virtual classes.

Wednesday began ECU’s virtual instruction and Mitchelson said they have extended the withdrawal period for students because of the shift to virtual. He expects to have final numbers on Friday, but said “it’s a trickle”.

AUGUST 25TH STORY

We’ve learned which apartment complex East Carolina University is housing students who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19.

Public records show that the university has entered a 10-month agreement with Paramount 3800.

The contract provided by the university shows the leasing of 48 bed spaces for $313 each. With some adjustments made for the month of May, the total of the contract comes out to $141,041.75.

ECU says it has since increased the number of leased beds at the complex to 75 and may add more as needed.

The university says it does have an out clause in the contract for when the apartment complex is no longer needed.

As of Monday, there were around 63 students in quarantine or isolation at Paramount 3800, according to ECU.

The university says that students, who had been staying residence halls, only stay as long as they need to be quarantined or isolated and that there is no cost to them.

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