Current Health Threats

March 31, 2020

Limiting our contact with others is the only way we can slow the spread of COVID-19.  Wayne Community College is heeding Gov. Cooper’s stay-at-home order and from March 31 through April 29, college buildings will be secured and access will be available only to essential personnel on a limited basis.  The college will still operate; instruction will continue and services will be provided remotely. (See departmental contact information below.)

For those students who have internet access issues, downtown Goldsboro, the Maxwell Center, the parking lots of any Wayne County Public Library (Goldsboro, Mount Olive, Fremont, and Pikeville, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.) and Wayne County Public Schools are options. United Way of Wayne County has compiled a list that includes other spots across the county.  The NC Department of Information Technology provides lists of public Wi-Fi access locations and new and existing free or affordable service offerings from vendors across the state. Remember to follow the rules of social distancing when working at hot spot locations.

Need help? College services are still available, from Counseling Services to the Academic Skills Center. (Click on the button below for departmental contact information.)

For information on the situation and services in Wayne County, contact the Wayne County Call Center at 919-705-1800. It will operate 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Details on accessing college services

A Message from WCC’s President 3/16/20


Wayne Community College is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of the students, employees, and members of the public who use its facilities, whether we are faced with seasonal influenza or a new infectious disease like COVID-19.

The college is taking steps to help the campus community avoid illness, including

  • Moving to remote provision of college services from March 31 through at least April 29.
  • Moving to alternative instructional methods, mostly online and based in Moodle, from March 23 through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • College services will be provided under conditions that exercise all precautions. The college’s library and open computer lab will continue to offer services while maintaining social distancing standards and appropriate sanitation practices. College departments such as Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Counseling, Student Activities, the Foundation, and the bookstore will also be open under the same conditions. The Academic Skills Center is available for online tutoring only. Placement tests will be provided for Allied Health program admissions only; all general placement testing is suspended for the foreseeable future.
  • The college has located hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic locations and housekeeping staff members are using antiviral cleaning agents and giving extra attention to high traffic areas.
  • Beginning March 10, Wayne Community College suspended all college-sanctioned travel by both student groups and employees to attend meetings, workshops, conferences, etc. outside of Wayne County until further notice.
  • As a precautionary measure, Wayne Community College cancelled meetings and events that would have involved members of the public. That ban is in place from March 14 through the end of the Spring Semester. Both the curriculum and the Adult High School/High School Equivalency graduation ceremonies have been postponed until tentatively late July.

Personal Precautions

rendering of SARS-CoV-2
A rendering of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus behind COVID-19.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. There is currently no vaccine to protect against it but there are steps that everyone can take to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it and to prevent infection. Those steps are the same ones that we should be taking in the face of any infectious disease.

woman puts on fabric mask
Patricia Grant Wynn, leader of WCC’s summer sewing camp, puts on a fabric mask she made. The latest CDC guidance encourages all to wear fabric masks in public. 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others and when you are in public. Studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. One estimate is that as many as a half of all infected people are asymptomatic. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with other people. Even if others do not appear to be sick, they could share the virus with you.
  • Use good handwashing techniques and do so often, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

wash your hands often
Wash your hands often.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched frequently, such as door handles, light switches, counters and desktops, keyboards, and mice, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw that tissue into the trash.
  • Medical-grade facemasks should be used by people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (or the seasonal flu).
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you suspect that you have COVID-19 (have symptoms and have traveled to an impacted country or area with community spread or have had contact with someone who has traveled to those countries or areas or is known to have the disease), go to your doctor’s office or emergency department. Call them before you go to alert them of your suspicions and condition.
  • Practice other good habits to maintain your health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Make sure you are getting information from trusted sources. There are a lot of rumors, false promises, and wrong reports floating around. Please don’t allow yourself to be tricked.

Who Is At Risk?

While anyone can get COVID-19, the latest information from the CDC lists the following as most at risk of severe symptoms (“high risk”):

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have heart disease with complications
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.


COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms that can include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and may be mild to severe.

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and close contact with infected people.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and close contact with infected people.

If you have mild symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NC Department for Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recommend that you stay at home, call a health care provider if necessary, isolate yourself, and stay informed, as described in this information sheet. If you are in one of the high risk groups and develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath or you are concerned that you may have been exposed to coronavirus, contact your health care provider, not the Wayne County Health Department. If you do not have a doctor, call the UNC Health Helpline at 1-888-850-2684 before visiting any doctor’s office, urgent care location, hospital, or emergency department. The same applies to visits to non-UNC Health facilities; call first to alert them of your suspicions and condition.

If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips of face, seek care immediately. Use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies only.

If you believe you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC has a “Coronavirus Self-Checker” that can help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.


Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air, through close personal contact (touching, hugging, or shaking hands), or through touching your nose, mouth, or eyes after touching people or surfaces that are contaminated.

Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms as well as those who are clearly ill. The practice of social distancing (staying out of congregate settings, avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, and maintaining distance of approximately 6 feet from others) is recommended to avoid exposure to infected individuals or the virus.

As a precautionary measure, Wayne Community College cancelled meetings and events that would have involved members of the public. That ban is in place through the end of the Spring Semester.

Questions about the Disease?

People who have questions or concerns related to COVID-19 can dial 2-1-1.

You can text COVIDNC to 898211 to get regular COVID-19 updates via text.

Stop the Spread of Germs poster
Stop the Spread of Germs poster

Symptoms poster
Symptoms poster

Need to Know Fact Sheet
Need to Know Fact Sheet

If You Are Sick Fact Sheet
If You Are Sick Fact Sheet

Testing for COVID-19

Currently, per the NCDHHS, the criteria for testing is fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative flu test. If you meet these measures, ask your doctor or hospital emergency department about being testing for COVID-19.


Travel from the United States to several impacted countries has been suspended or restricted while travelers are encouraged to practice “enhanced” or “usual” precautions if visiting others (due to the threat of COVID-19 and other diseases). Those countries and their risk assessment level is published at

NC DHHS recommends that all travelers returning from countries and US states impacted by COVID-19 self-monitor. (Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.)

Wayne Community College has chosen to suspend all college-sanctioned travel by both student groups and employees to attend meetings, workshops, conferences, etc. outside of Wayne County until further notice.

State of Emergency

On March 10, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency for our state based on the health emergency posed by COVID-19.

This comes on the heels of the confirmation of multiple cases of the respiratory disease. Cases are spread across the state, including in Wayne County.

A “state of emergency” does not mean that there is an imminent threat to your health or we are under martial law. It is not a reason to panic.

A declaration allows the State of North Carolina to requisition resources, to seek federal assistance, and to protect consumers from price gouging and deceptive trade practices, among other steps necessary to respond to this health concern.

COVID-19 Preparations suggests that individuals and families take these steps to prepare for the disease:

  • Store a two-week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

WCC's Precautions and Response

Before the college moved to provide all services remotely, Financial Aid Administrative Assistant April Gray communicated with a student via email while a sign on the counter reminded visitors about social distancing.

Wayne Community College’s duty includes protecting its students, faculty, staff and visitors; educating the college community to take steps to prevent infection, be prepared to self-support, and understand any necessary containment measures; communicating with all involved parties throughout the event; and supporting the continuation of as many college operations and services as possible if it is safe to do so.

The college is taking steps to help the campus community avoid illness such as locating hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic locations and housekeeping staff members are using antiviral cleaning agents and giving extra attention to high traffic areas.

Now that Wayne County is impacted directly by COVID-19, the college is using alternative instruction methods and providing options to face-to-face interactions to access services and conduct business.

The college is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and U.S. Department of Education recommendations. It is in contact with the Wayne County Health Department and other partner agencies. It is directed by its Pandemic and Communicable Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, Emergency Response Plan, Business Continuity Plan, communicable disease and infection control and personnel policies and procedures, and other documents, which it regularly reviews and updates.

The college is addressing issues as they arise. It has created a Pandemic Response Team consisting of President Thomas Walker, Jr., Vice President of Academic and Student Services Patty Pfeiffer, Vice President of Administrative and Financial Services Joy Kornegay, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Marketing, Safety, and Compliance Charles Gaylor, IV, Associate Vice President of Administrative Services Derek Hunter, Director of Information Technology Matthew Bauer, Senior Executive Assistant to the President Amber Tyler, and Public Information Officer Tara Humphries that is meeting twice a week to determine the best course of action for our college community.

As more information and guidance becomes available, it will be shared on this page, via email, and through other avenues.

Anyone who has questions, comments, or concerns related to COVOD-19 and WCC can send them to

Campus Notice and Update 3-23-20

4-7-20 (latest updates in blue)

The Latest News from Other Organizations and Agencies

NCDHHS to Provide Financial Support to Essential Workers and Child Care Providers – 4/7/20
NC COVID-19 Modeling Shows Social Distancing Necessary to Slow the Spread and Preserve Hospital Capacity to Save Lives – 4/6/20
Wayne County Opens Public Information Hotline for COVID-19 – 4/6/20
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 – 4/4/20
City of Goldsboro to Light Water Tower – 4/1/20
Utility Disconnections Prohibited in the Wake of COVID-19 – 3/31/20
Families to Receive Enhanced Benefits to Ensure Food Access – 3/30/20
An Update from Mayor Chuck Allen Regarding COVID-19 – 3/30/20
First COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits will be Paid This Week – 3/29/20
Texting Tool to Access Food for Children – 3/27/20
People with Mild Symptoms Should Stay Home – 3/26/20
NC Medicaid Increases Support to Protect Those Most at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 and to Maintain Access to Services – 3/25/20
Screenings Increased at Wayne Co. Heath Department and Social Services –  3/25/20
Goldsboro Public Utilities Warns Customers Not to Flush Wipes, Other Items 3/25/20
Screenings Increased at Wayne County Health Department and Social Services – 3/25/20
City of Goldsboro Limiting Public Access to Government Facilities – 3/24/20
NCDHHS Announces Hotline for Critical Workers Seeking Child Care Options – 3/24/20
Service Changes for Inspections, Environmental Health, and Planning Departments – 3/24/20
Gov. Cooper directs Funding to Schools to Teach and Feed Students during COVID-19  – 3/24/20
Service Changes for Inspections, Environmental Health, and Planning Departments – 3/24/20
Second COVID-19 Case Confirmed for Wayne County, Hospitalized in Wake – 3/24/20
Gov. Cooper Extends School Closure Date To May; Orders Group Limit To 50 People (EO120) – 3/23/20
Volunteer as a Health Care Worker – 3/22/20
Governor Cooper Orders Increased Access to Childcare, DMV Clarifications – 3/21/20
Tax Deadline Extended to July 15 – 3/20/20
Wayne UNC Health Care Enhances Visitor Policy to Include Essential Visitors Only – 3/20/20
U.S. Small Business Administration Grants Gov. Cooper’s Request for Disaster Declaration to Support Small Businesses – 3/19/20
Wayne County Court Schedule Update – 3/19/20
Attorney General Josh Stine: Be Cautious and Avoid Scams – 3/18/19
NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19 – 3/18/20
Goldsboro City Manager Coronavirus Statement – 3/18/20
Sheriff: Deputies Still Patrolling, Some Changes To Office Operations – 3/18/20
Updated Procedures for Wayne County Department of Social Services – 3/18/20
Wayne UNC Health Care to Screen Visitors at Hospital and Cancel Elective Procedures – 3/17/20
Wayne County Health Department COVID-19 Guidelines for Patient – 3/17/20
Driver License Offices Closing (including Goldsboro) – 3/17/20
NC to Close Restaurants and Bars for Dine-In Customers, Allow Takeout and Delivery Operations to Continue – 3/17/20
Berkeley Mall COVID-19 Updates – 3/17/20
Goldsboro Joins County Emergency Declaration, Takes Steps Amid Outbreak – 3/17/20
COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Wayne County, Quaratined on SJAFB – 3/16/20
Wayne County Library and Peggy M. Seegars Senior Center Closing – 3/16/20
Town of Mount Olive Emergency Protective Measures, Other COVID-19 Alerts – 3/16/20
Gov. Cooper Requests Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration – 3/16/20
Wayne County Issues State of Emergency Effective March 16, 2020 – 3/15/20
Spectrum offering “high-speed internet at an affordable price … to qualified households” and WiFi hotspots in select locations – 3/14/20
Gov. Cooper Issues Executive Order Closing K-12 Public Schools and Banning Gatherings of More Than 100 People – 3/14/20
SJAFB Takes Precautions During Global COVID-19 Outbreak – 3/14/20
Visitation Temporarily Suspended at State Prisons – 3/14/20
Altice USA (Suddenlink) Brings Free Broadband to College Students During Coronavirus Pandemic – 3/13/20
UMO Closing for All Traditional Students – 3/13/20
Judicial Branch Response to COVID-19 – 3/13/20
UNC Health Enacts Heightened Restrictions for Facility Visitors, Vendors, Volunteers and Students – 3/13/20
Wayne County Public Library and Services on Aging Postpone Events – 3/12/20
NCDHHS Announces Three Additional Cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina – 3/12/20
NCDHHS Announces Eighth Case of COVID-19 in North Carolina – 3/11/20
UNC System Issues Update on Coronovirus Preparations – 3/11/20
Update On COVID-19 Preparedness In Wayne County – 3/11/20
NC Medicaid Updates Policies to Address COVID-19 – 3/11/20
UNC Health Announces Voluntary Visitor Restrictions for Hospitals – 3/10/20
Gov. Cooper Declares State Of Emergency To Respond To Coronavirus COVID-19 – 3/10/20

Other Sources of Information