ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University has been fortunate in maintaining a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases on its campus since students returned in August. As of October 2, there is only two active cases among students and zero among employees. Since August 1, there have only been 9 positive cases for students and 3 positive cases for employees. This is due in large part to the generous donations that the College has received from the community, as well as grants from Nash County and the State of North Carolina.
Dr. Robert Zipf, Jr., MD, a NC Wesleyan Board Emeritus and Forensic Pathology Specialist in Rocky Mount, provided $30,000 to pay for air purifiers to be placed in every classroom and all common areas on campus. A portion of this gift was designated to the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) on campus. The TLC is now known as the Zipf Teaching and Learning Center, or ZTLC.
Also, NC Wesleyan applied for a grant offered by Nash County. This $2,000 grant is for non-profit organizations to help cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). The College was successful in obtaining this grant and used it to help purchase facemasks for the campus community.
“Research released in July from the University of Maryland on the aerosolization of the virus led the College’s Reopening Committee and Viral Infection Response Team to seek air flow solutions for classrooms and other campus gathering spaces. Air purifiers with appropriate filtration and window exhaust fans were installed to alleviate a potential danger of stagnant air in areas where our students, faculty, and staff would spend a fair amount of time,” stated Interim Provost Dr. Molly Wyatt. “Being attentive to emerging scientific research helped us to be innovative and Dr. Zipf’s donation was crucial in allowing us to afford additional precautious for our campus that addressed this need. We are very grateful for his continued engagement with the College and his generosity.”
North Carolina funds were also provided to the College as part of state funding that was received through the CARES Act. The College just received an additional $466,000 from the State of NC
to support students and expenses as it relates to COVID-19. NC Wesleyan is already working with students to assist with their balances and offsetting some PPE expenses that the College has incurred.
In addition, the College just installed its first touchless water bottle filler in the Pearsall Classroom Building. The College will also be installing them in the Gravely Science Building, Taylor Recreation Center and the Athletics Fieldhouse soon. This will help Wesleyan not only reduce single-use plastics, but also provide a touchless option for filtered water in these buildings.
To learn more about how the College is being Wesleyan Wise and the plans that it has in place for managing COVID, visit ncwu.edu/coronavirus.