UNC-Chapel Hill moves online as it sees 135 positive tests in one week, quarantine capacity at 5.5%

UNC-Chapel Hill announced Monday that all undergraduate classes will move online beginning Wednesday.

The announcement followed UNC-Chapel Hill’s weekly update to the COVID-19 dashboard.

There were 135 new positive tests — 130 among students and 5 among employees.

The school’s positive test rate jumped to 13.6% and its quarantine room capacity fell to 5.5% — just four rooms.

There are 177 students in isolation and 349 students in quarantine, according to the school. Some of those students are being quarantined in local hotels. The school is committed to continuing to provide housing for those isolating and in quarantine, Guskiewicz said Monday.

The school said it expects most students to change their housing arrangements for the Fall and will be encouraging students who can to leave campus for permanent addresses not in the community. Students can cancel housing contracts without penalty and students who need on-campus housing — including international students, student athletes and those without other housing or reliable Internet access — may remain on campus.

The school aims to get on-campus residential density down to between 1,500 and 2,000 students, administrators told a Faculty Executive Committee meeting Monday afternoon. That should allow for the school to get as close to single-person occupancy as possible, they said.

Individual schools at the university will decide how to handle graduate courses, according to the university

“Since launching the Roadmap for Fall 2020, we have emphasized that if we were faced with the need to change plans – take an off-ramp – we would not hesitate to do so, but we have not taken this decision lightly,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz in a written statement Monday.

“There are no easy answers as the nation navigates through the pandemic,” said UNC System President Peter Hans in a written statement. “At this point we haven’t received any information that would lead to similar modifications at any of our other universities. Whether at Chapel Hill or another institution, students must continue to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing, as their personal responsibility, particularly in off-campus settings, is critical to the success of this semester and to protect public health.”

 

 

Policy Watch is continuing to follow this developing story.

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