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ECU freshmen move in; school leaders reveal plan to create a safe learning environment

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 8:33 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Pirate Nation is returning to Greenville this week for fall semester classes.

Last year, multiple COVID-19 clusters caused ECU to shut down the campus and send freshmen home. This year, ECU students and faculty members are confident the university won’t repeat history.

Incoming freshman, Bella Lewis, was in good spirits on move-in day. She hopes the ongoing pandemic doesn’t affect her college experience.

“I’m really nervous about it,” Lewis said. “But if we all follow the protocol’s we’ll all be fine.”

Those protocols include the use of face masks inside all buildings and for every student to present their vaccination status.

41% of students have registered their status and 55% of on-campus freshmen are fully vaccinated.

On-campus vaccinations will be available to students. Those who get the shot will also go home with a prize.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they’ll have to quarantine in the College Hill suites. The building can hold up to 400 people.

Chancellor Philip Rogers is confident in the university’s plan to create a safe learning environment for students.

“There are going to be cases,” Rogers said. “There are going to be clusters. We’re prepared for that and we’re going through that surge. These next four to six weeks are going to be the most vital moments of this process and we’re going to manage through it the best we can.”

ECU students will continue their return to campus Thursday and Friday.

ECU Police Captain Chris Sutton says 14th Street will be closed between Elm and Charles Boulevard. Drivers should take alternate routes and prepare for more traffic in the area.

The university expects 5,200 students to live on campus this year.

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