RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – This weekend is a comeback to the campuses of several universities in central North Carolina.
North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, St. Augustine University and Central North Carolina University will again be inundated with students this weekend.
With the rise of the omicron COVID-19 variant, each campus requires its own set of COVID protocols.
“I got back to campus last night around 11 am,” said Prem Gandhi, a sophomore at NC State. “I put all my things in the car and got on.”
Going back to dorms for the spring semester is a bigger problem during the pandemic.
“We have to take a test three days before or after [coming back]Gandhi explained.
North Carolina state administrators are requiring back-campus testing for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff.
They will also need to be tested once a week.
Students who live on campus, regardless of their immunization status, will also need to be tested to return to their residences.
“We’ll have to see how it goes this semester with omicron and all that, but last semester we didn’t have too many cases,” student Logan Walters said.
Walters told CBS 17 he believes the current protocols are enough to keep everyone safe.
“The state (NC) has an 85% vaccination rate. I was on campus all last semester, never had COVID, I didn’t have symptoms of COVID, ”Walters said. “I wear my mask in class, so I’m not really worried.”
Others think the procedures are overkill.
“I think they’re too much, to be blunt. I think most people are pretty rational and can make good decisions, ”Gandhi said. “They should just make the mask mandate optional and offer the K-N95 or N95 masks to people who want them. “
Other local universities are taking precautions.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, unvaccinated students and staff will be required to get tested upon their return to campus.
At St. Augustine University, everyone must be fully immunized to return this semester, and they still need to be tested before they are allowed to return to campus.
Administrators are demanding the rules, even if the university switches to virtual learning for the rest of the month.
At Central North Carolina University, all students will receive K-N95 and medical masks. University officials will no longer accept cloth face coverings.
All students, including commuters, must also take a readmission test.
While some NC State students say they understand the importance of taking precautions, they feel COVID fatigue setting in.
“Everyone has their concerns, and I know it’s person-to-person,” Walters said. “What’s it been like, a year, does it happen over two years?” We’re all a little overwhelmed. It’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s just the way of life.