Unable to control a surge of COVID-19 cases on campus, NC State announced plans to empty out its residence halls by early September. 

The move comes as little surprise given the staggering spike in cases of the virus on campus: 21 clusters (five or more connected cases) have been reported since classes began and at least 501 students have tested positive for the virus in addition to 45 faculty members. 

The school made the decision to abruptly move classes online last week after placing about 500 students in quarantine but hoped to keep housing students on campus. 

“We hoped and strived to keep residence halls open and safe to best serve our students: Chancellor Randy Woodson told students in an email Wednesday. “However, the rapid spread and increasing rate of positive cases have made our current situation untenable.”

As of Wednesday, more than 1,200 students are in quarantine or isolation off-campus and another 166 students exposed to the virus are being monitored on campus. 

Students were asked to schedule a time to move out by September 6. Students can apply for a waiver to remain on campus, but it is unclear how many will be granted as the  “goal is to reduce the on-campus population significantly,” Woodson stated. Partial refunds for housing and dining hall service will be provided. 

“We’re not where we want to be today, but we’re hopeful that by reducing our on-campus population, we can keep our community safe and slow the spread of this relentless virus,” Woodson told students. 

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