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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Wingate University Records COVID-19 Spike Of 76 Cases

Wingate University Quad
Courtesy of Wingate University
The quad and Wingate University

Wingate University in Union County has reported 76 active coronavirus cases on campus. The school’s online dashboard says that includes 72 students and four employees.

The spike started late last week, and the school had reported as few as 27 cases on Sept. 26. Wingate University Provost Jeff Frederick said some of those who’ve tested positive will finish their isolation this week, lowering the overall numbers.

He said the university is randomly testing on-campus students to catch outbreaks.

"The students in nearly all cases have either very minor cases, or have no symptoms whatsoever," Frederick said. "So many of them are continuing to function in class, in online courses. And so we’re just making sure that they have the resources and the daily services that they need."

Frederick said the university is working with Union County Public Health to conduct contact tracing. Wingate is still holding some in-person classes with gathering limits, and the administration has not said it will move to online-only instruction. Frederick said the university has a low number of students relative to the size of its campus and that Wingate has tried to move as many activities as possible outside.

President Rhett Brown announced last week that Wingate’s dining halls would move to takeout only and students would not be allowed to have visitors or other students in their dorms.

Wingate opened for a mix of in-person and online classes the last week of August and has more than 1,700 students back in dorms.

Universities across North Carolina saw more than 3,000 coronavirus cases after students went back to campuses in August, including UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University and East Carolina University. All three institutions halted in-person classes and moved to all-remote instruction.

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