ECU begins spring break with updated COVID-19 policies

Masks are optional indoors at both ECU and Pitt Community College starting on Monday.
ECU begins spring break with updated COVID-19 policies
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As the clock ticks for East Carolina University students eager for spring break amid another pandemic year, super senior Michael Linehan talked about what he plans to do.

“Probably gonna hang out,” Linehan said. “My other best friend, Will, went home. I’m from D.C., so I might go back up there afterwards and see my dogs and cats.”

Linehan, an international business major, looked back on his time as a college student.

“I was studying abroad in Tokyo when the pandemic started,” Linehan said. “And I came back home to all the online classes. Compared to my freshman and sophomore years, when everything was just going to the building, sit next to each other, it’s a huge difference now.”

From masking to testing for COVID-19, last year was stricter at ECU as new COVID-19 variants emerged.

But with COVID-19 cases on the decline currently, according to ECU’s COVID-19 dashboard, Associate Dean of Students Lauren Thorn looked at the data showing only 1% of tests taken returned positive as of March.

“If you think back, we really had just started to see the rolling out of the vaccination process,” Thorn said. “We hadn’t started with the big Vidant sponsored vaccine clinics. We really were still working off of a lot of just natural immunity.”

Students leave for spring break as both ECU and Pitt Community College make masks optional indoors starting on Monday.

ECU still requires masks in some places, such as clinical and health care locations and ECU transit buses.

For PCC, Rick Owens, vice president of administrative services, said as quickly as they saw the spike with the Omicron variant, they’ve seen the decline.

“While it isn’t as fast a recovery as we hoped, moving to a mask optional policy is one step closer in getting us back to normal,” Owens said. “Our focus now is what our focus has always been, which is, finding the right niche, providing the best possible services that we can for students.”

ECU students return to campus on March 14, which is around the time PCC will begin its spring break.

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