COVID-19 Campus Face Covering Update

Campus Community,

As we continue to plan to come together on campus for the start of the fall semester, the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors remains our primary concern. Since COVID-19 emerged, we’ve learned many lessons about adapting. In response to the latest trends with the evolving Delta variant, as well as our own analysis of the local context and recommendations from various health organizations and experts, we adapt once again. Hence, ECU is updating its COVID-19 related safety measures.

These updated requirements apply to all faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors and will remain in effect until further notice. Please know we remain grateful for your understanding of the need to adjust based on these emerging conditions and the ever-changing landscape we are navigating together as One ECU.

Face Coverings

  • Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 4, face coverings will again be required in all indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, unless:
    • You are alone in a private, enclosed residence hall room, apartment or office with the door closed.
    • You are in an enclosed indoor space where only household members are present; for example, residence hall roommates.
    • You are actively eating or drinking.
  • Face coverings are not required in outdoor spaces for vaccinated individuals, but masks are encouraged, especially in large crowds. Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated should continue wearing a face covering outdoors.
  • Face coverings will continue to be required on ECU Transit buses.
  • Vaccinated faculty may remove their masks while teaching as long as three to six feet of physical distancing is maintained.


Vaccines and Providing Vaccination Records

On campus, the closer we get to a large percentage of our population being fully vaccinated, the better we will be able to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vaccinations are key to protecting our campus and the Pirate community.

Our Fall 2021 Return of Pirate Nation emphasizes the importance of vaccinations. Our Community Expectations reflect that all individuals participating in on-campus activities, including employees and students will provide proof of vaccination that the individual is vaccinated with an FDA emergency use authorized or WHO approved vaccine, OR will participate in ECU’s reentry and/or surveillance testing program, OR will provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days.



Testing remains an integral component of our fall semester plan. Surveillance testing helps us identify cases sooner, activate contact tracing procedures, and isolate and quarantine individuals who have tested positive to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Testing is required for every on-campus resident unless they have provided proof of vaccination or are part of another campus testing program, such as student athletes, or have tested positive in the last 90 days.
  • All other on-campus residents will participate in entry testing during Move-In Fall 2021. Ongoing testing will occur throughout the semester, with 50% of the eligible population being tested each week.
  • Ongoing testing will occur throughout the semester for students living in residence halls unless they have proof of vaccination. This effort is geared at reducing transmission and outbreaks. Visit the COVID-19 and Campus Living page for updates.
  • Employees are expected to become fully vaccinated or enter surveillance testing.


Looking forward

If you have questions about the updated requirements or the fall plan for campus, please contact the co-chairs of the COVID Coordinating Committee, Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for campus safety and auxiliary services,, or Sara Lilley, interim assistant vice chancellor for HR, talent management,

We plan to hold in-person classes and on-campus activities this fall. These updated requirements along with the plans outlined in Fall 2021 Return of Pirate Nation will remain in place as we navigate the first weeks of the fall semester. We will continue to track and evaluate the recommendations of local, state and national health experts to determine when these requirements can be modified or lifted.

We must remain committed to do all we can to protect our campus and each other. Following proper protocols remains vital for the well-being of Pirate Nation and our community. Remember: Pirates protect Pirates.

— Chancellor Philip G. Rogers