COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Spring 2021

As we plan for the spring semester, we know that a robust testing strategy is essential to detecting and limiting the spread of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff. Heading into spring, NC State is adding capacity to significantly increase testing and expand our successful surveillance programs.

Please review key highlights of our spring testing and surveillance plans below and watch this video featuring Dr. Julie Casani, director and medical director of NC State Student Health Services, to learn more. Additional updates, requirements and/or measures may be added to these plans to help keep our community safe.

Re-entry Testing

After winter break, NC State will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for returning students, faculty and staff, as outlined below.

Students

  • All students living in residence halls, on-campus apartments and Greek Village must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to moving into their spring housing assignment.
  • All students who are enrolled in face-to-face (fully in-person or hybrid) courses, or who need to be on campus for laboratory work (including research) or exams, must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes.
  • All students who work on campus must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus following the winter break.
  • All students who live adjacent to or within an approximate one-mile radius of campus are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes. Other than on-campus residents, these are the students who are most likely to regularly use campus resources or come into contact with members of the campus community. We will contact these students prior to the beginning of spring semester with additional information.

For students in these groups who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill the above requirements. More information, including details about how to submit results, will be forthcoming.

Faculty and Staff

  • All faculty and teaching assistants who are leading face-to-face (fully in-person or hybrid) on-campus courses, labs or other activities must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to the first day of classes.
  • All employees in critical service roles on campus, as determined by supervisors, and employees who engage the public in person must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus after the winter break. These employees include but are not limited to staff who interact with members of the university community in residence halls and Greek housing, dining operations and housekeeping, as well as staff who support COVID operations, testing and emergency response.
  • All researchers (faculty, staff and students) conducting research on and off campus (e.g., in field labs and research stations, in clinics and at human-subjects locations such as schools) must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to returning to campus after the winter break.

For employees in these groups who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill the above requirements. More information, including details about how to submit results, will be forthcoming.

Ongoing Health Surveillance Testing

In addition to re-entry testing at the beginning of the spring semester, NC State is expanding its robust surveillance testing programs.

  • NC State will expand ongoing testing for students living in residence halls, on-campus apartments and Greek Village, and for other students who regularly use campus facilities. We anticipate several thousand students, faculty and staff will be tested weekly.
  • We will continue the Wolfpack Surveillance Program, which routinely tests a statistically significant group of students, faculty and staff.
  • NC State Athletics will continue to test student-athletes in accordance with ACC and NCAA requirements.

Routine Testing

  • NC State’s Student Health Services will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing for all students (symptomatic or asymptomatic) who request a test.
  • In the event that we identify positive cases through any of the steps outlined above, NC State will conduct contact tracing and testing for all those potentially exposed, including students, faculty and staff.
  • All travelers on approved university travel to out-of-state or international locations must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. For employees who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill this requirement.

More detailed guidance on specific testing requirements, timelines, how to obtain a test and how to submit test results will be forthcoming to students, faculty and staff. Updated information about NC State’s testing and surveillance plan will continue to be added to our Protect the Pack website, so check back often. We’ll also continue to share more about our plans for spring with our community via email and social media. Please stay informed and stay well.