UNC-Charlotte Public Health Sciences faculty oppose reopening campus

The Public Health Sciences faculty at UNC-Charlotte is opposing the school’s decision to reopen to on-campus living and in-person instruction in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday the school announced it would begin its Fall semester undergraduate courses online but would resume in-person instruction on Oct. 1. Students would be allowed to move in at the end of September. The school, which was set to begin classes Sept. 7, is the first in the UNC System to move courses online before they’ve actually begun.

But in a Friday letter to UNC-Chancellor Sharon Gaber before that announcement was made, the school’s Public Health Sciences faculty advocated for moving online for the entire fall semester. The goal: to  avoid the outbreaks that have happened at dorms and fraternity and sorority houses at UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University and N.C. State University since those schools began classes earlier this month.

From the letter:

We acknowledge that these decisions are not easy. However, the recent outbreak of cases at multiple universities (1) can provide evidence for the epidemiological arguments against returning to any face-to-face instruction. As such, we focus our attention on the community’s health. It is our shared belief that reopening campus will result in avoidable illness to our campus and surrounding community.

Our University has an opportunity to be a public health role model for the Charlotte region and our state. At this point in time, the Mecklenburg community is seeing a decline in their percent positive cases, daily case counts, and hospitalizations. Our department has worked to develop relationships with local healthcare entities, which are strained as they vocalize concern over our institution’s contribution to potential COVID-19 proliferation. Mecklenburg County Health Department Director, Gibbie Harris, stated that despite our sound plans, she is expecting a rise in COVID-19 cases due to universities reopening (2). While UNC Charlotte is a resourced community, our surrounding areas are not as equipped to handle the effects of the inevitable surge of infections if students are invited back to campus. Furthermore, if we follow other university trends and subsequently move to online instruction after beginning face-to-face, we risk dispersing the virus back into other communities. For these reasons, we believe the best course of action would be to start the semester with virtual-only instruction.

Read the full letter here.

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. ch [...]

Sheriffs and advocates remain opposed, but the party of Donald Trump is no longer a roadblock Video [...]

Student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill are asking that money from a recently increased security fee go t [...]

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020 and the demonstrations that ensued in score [...]

An honest assessment of the disastrous U.S. experience in Afghanistan leads to some hard truths and [...]

There is, of course, nothing new about the idea that blood runs thick in politics. The list of promi [...]

The post North Carolina court blocks Voter ID law for discriminatory intent appeared first on NC Pol [...]

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effecti [...]

A Clear and Present Danger

 

NC’s Tarheel Army Missile Plant is a toxic disgrace
Read the two-part story about the Army’s failure to clean up hazardous chemicals, which have contaminated a Black and Hispanic neighborhood for 30 years.

Read in English.


Haga clic aquí para leer: Peligro inminente
Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años.

Leer en español.