UNC’s racial history, modern Black leadership come together in book event

UNC-Chapel Hill alumna Geeta Kapur brought together the school’s troubling racial history history and the new generation of Black student leaders Tuesday in an on-campus event for her new book,  “To Drink from the Well: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the Nation’s Oldest University.”

The book, released this month, is the result of more than a decade of research that began after Kapur’s undergraduate and law school years at Chapel Hill. During that time, Kapur says, she never thought about the fact that the nation’s first public university was built by slaves or that Black students had to fight for decades simply to be admitted. In writing the book, she said she was shocked and saddened by the school’s long efforts to cover up its history of racism and how those efforts continue today.

On Tuesday, Kapur told students at the event that she had been waiting for the book’s release a long time – and sometimes doubted she could finish it.

“There were many times I wanted to give up because it was too painful and it was costing me too much,” Kapur said. ” I didn’t know any of you students who were here, but I knew you were here. And I knew I owed it to you all.”

Author Geeta Kapur with Black Student Movement President Taliajah “Teddy” Vann and UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President Lamar Richards.

Kapur was joined Tuesday by state NAACP President Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President Lamar Richards and Black Student Movement President Taliajah “Teddy” Vann. Spearman, a leader of the Moral Monday movement, connected the struggles of the first Black students at Carolina to the recent struggles over the Silent Sam Confederate monument and the school’s failed hiring of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

“The history is painful,” Spearman said of Kapur’s book. “In many instances, the history is hideous. But for those who have eyes to see, the history is also very, very beautiful.”

That’s because despite slavery, discrimination, violence and oppression that runs from the university’s founding up to today, Spearman said, Black people have continued to fight for their place at Carolina and to thrive there. Kapur’s scholarship calls on the community to continue that fight, Spearman said.

“If I have the power to make a demand, that you would rise up with more force than you have to this point, and you make sure that you do not rest content until you are to establish a new campus here at UNC-Chapel Hill,” Spearman said.

Richards and Vann represent the current movement, Kapur and Spearman said. In their remarks, they talked about the current struggle and its place in the history Kapur outlines in her book.

“That history began with the first brick laid to create Old East, the first building on this campus, by our enslaved ancestors whose blood permanently stains this university’s grounds,” Vann said. “It continues today as the university fails in its duty to protect Black students who are here now. It continues to fail at protecting our ancestors even in death, allowing Confederates to desecrate the monuments that we built to them mere months ago. As Black students continue to suffer and have the demands that are core to our safety ignored.”

“And we will continue to be unless we begin to shine light on what this university does when they think that no one is watching,” Vann said. “I think that’s the beautiful part about Geeta’s narrative. It’s a beautiful opportunity for all of us to be able to truly see what goes on behind the veil. We’re fighting for the same things our ancestors wanted.”

Richards addressed the controversy over the university’s failed hiring of Hannah-Jones and the tenure controversy during which he played a key part in getting a vote from the school’s Board of Trustees.

During that fight Richards said he couldn’t encourage Black students to come to Carolina in the current environment.

“This summer my statements encouraging other Black students not to attend UNC made national headlines,” Richards said. “Yet I stayed. And I’m sure many of you wondered why. Why would this person who told others to leave, choose stay?”

“The reality is, the forces that bind my people to UNC are the same forces that kept our people on the Underground Railroad even when they couldn’t see daylight,” Richards said. “It’s the same force that kept Black families going from bank to bank in the 60s and the early 70s, applying for mortgages even after they received ‘no’ after ‘no.’ And it’s the same force that that led Professor Nikole Hannah-Jones to fight for tenure at a university that only gave her disrespect in return.”

“What binds me to this place is the pain and perseverance of my people as they forged together the foundation of public education in America, building the very buildings that we now learn in at Carolina brick by brick,” Richards said. “It is the same pleading force that allowed my uneducated great-grandmother to raise children who became doctors and lawyers. It is the love of our people, the aspiration of something greater, the need to be bigger, to be better, the need to survive.”

Richards said Kapur’s book should inspire all those who read it to be moved by that force.

“May this wonderful work of literature set a blaze to every hiding crevice of oppression, racism and hatred at this University,” Richards said. “And draw upon us a new day to live, breathe and work for a university that we all truly know and love.”

The emotional climax of Tuesday’s event came as Kapur read from her book the names and occupations of slaves known to have  built, repaired and worked for the university.

Kapur lingered on the name of Emily, a washer-woman and seamstress for students at the university in 1846.

“I wonder what dreams she had for her own children as she washed the clothes of white students at this campus and sewed the clothes of white students at this campus,” Kapur said.

In an invocation to the spirits of those who labored for the university as slaves, Kapur they should know their lives and their pain meant something.

Their spiritual sons and daughters — from civil rights warrior Julius Chambers and basketball legend Michael Jordan to  Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones and Kizzmekia Corbett, a key developer of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine — thrived at Carolina and beyond.

“I believe we are surrounded today by a great cloud of witnesses hovering above us,” Kapur said. “To the ancestors who surround us, we are here to honor you today and to say your labor was not in vain.”

N.C. State faculty passes resolution calling for vaccine mandate

Faculty members at North Carolina State University are calling for a vaccine mandate for all students, faculty and staff with on-campus responsibilities. The school’s faculty senate passed a resolution calling for the mandate late Tuesday.

The resolution cites the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine last month and the university’s “responsibility to provide for the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff.”

N.C. State is the largest campus in the UNC System with nearly 37,000 students, more than 2,400 faculty and more than 7,200 staff.

Last month, six former state health directors asked the UNC System to mandate vaccination at all of system’s universities. Student and faculty groups across the system have expressed their desire for a mandate, as have many chancellors. UNC System President Peter Hans and the UNC Board of Governors have not yet been willing to go that far.

In a message to chancellors last month, Hans said campuses should require students to submit to reentry testing, provide proof of vaccination or, if unvaccinated, undergo weekly testing at a minimum. Chancellors should also have a “get vaccinated or get tested regularly” measure in place for faculty and staff, Hans wrote.

“Vaccination is our best weapon against the virus,” Hans wrote in his e-mail to chancellors. “Vaccines are safe, free, and highly effective against all known variants. Since the vaccine became available last spring, you have made extraordinary efforts to vaccinate both your campus communities and the general public, administering more than 92,000 vaccinations at clinics across the state. We will continue to offer free, life-saving vaccines to students, faculty, and staff on campus, and we will continue to encourage and incentivize every eligible person to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Hans has consistently said  only the North Carolina Commission for Public Health can mandate vaccines at the university level, and the UNC System office and chancellors at individual schools have for months been citing that rule as an impediment to a vaccine mandate. Hans’s legal analysis, however, has been questioned by some, who cite among other things, the fact that UNC schools required a measles booster during a 1989 outbreak of that disease.

The Commission for Public Health is a 13-member body. Under state law, four members are elected by the North Carolina Medical Society and nine are appointed by the governor. In the highly politicized environment around vaccine and masking mandates, however, the commission has not yet taken any public action on a mandate and is not scheduled to meet again until October 15.

The members of the UNC Board of Governors are political appointees. The board is heavily conservative, with just one registered Democrat currently on the board. But the issue of mandating or even encouraging vaccination is divisive even within GOP circles.

In a video that made the rounds online last month, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson told a crowd at a conservative event it is not the job of elected officials to encourage people to take a vaccine. Robinson, a Republican, said those doing so should be voted out of office.

The most powerful elected GOP leaders in the state — N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore- (R-Cleveland) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) — are among the prominent Republicans in North Carolina who have encouraged vaccination as the best method of beating COVID-19.

The number of students, faculty and staff who are actually vaccinated at each UNC system campus is not clear. UNC schools are asking students, faculty and staff to attest to their vaccination status. But students are not required to provide actual evidence of their vaccination.

 

As of Monday, N.C. State said 73 percent of community members — 32,863 people, including students, staff and faculty  — had either uploaded vaccine records to the school’s HealthyPack portal or been fully vaccinated on campus.

As of Wednesday, the school’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 510 positive cases on campus since August 1, determined either through on-campus testing or self reporting. Of those cases, 422 are students and
88 employees.

The UNC Board of Governors will hold committee meetings Wednesday and a full board meeting on Thursday. They are expected to discuss the ongoing question of vaccination at campuses.

UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Chair: Two different COVID realities on campus, faculty “in the dark,” campus “without a clear map”

The chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty is expressing frustration over the state of COVID-19 communication on campus, complaining of a return to a “toxically positive” direction that masks the problems  and creates “two different realities” while the campus is “without a clear map.”

In an August 19 email to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Bob Blouin, Faculty Chair Mimi Chapman wrote she feels “in the dark” and wonders whether the lack of communication from the school’s top leadership is deliberate.

There have been 220 positive cases on campus so far in the month of August, according to Monday numbers from the school’s COVID-19 dashboard – 174 students and 46 employees. There have been 67 student positives since classes began last Wednesday.

Last Fall, before vaccines were available, the school sent most on-campus students home and ended most on-campus instruction after 130 students tested positive on campus in the semester’s first week. The school’s chancellor has said there is no plan for such an “off-ramp” this semester.

The school reported its second cluster of infections over the weekend,  this one featuring six infections at at the Avery Residence Hall. Earlier this month, the campus saw a cluster of infections traced to an event at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

[UPDATE 7 p.m.: After this story’s initial publication, UNC-Chapel Hill Media Relations got in touch with Policy Watch to comment on the numbers and characterization of the school’s decision to move to a largely virtual Fall semester in 2020. 

Leslie Minton, associate director of Media Relations as UNC-Chapel Hill, said it is misleading to mention the number of students who tested positive in the first week of classes of Fall 2020 without noting that the overall infection numbers for the first 23 days of August were much higher – 652 total.

“It’s also important to note that the decision to move remote in 2020 was made based on multiple factors, not just case counts,” Minton said. “In fall 2020, when Chancellor Guskiewicz announced the shift to remote learning, he shared data in his email to campus, which you can read online. At that time, the University’s quarantine and isolation space was approaching capacity. As Chancellor Guskiewicz noted in his August 2020 message, the University had 117 students in isolation and 349 in quarantine in fall 2020, including on- and off-campus students, and was running out of space.”

“Today, quarantine and isolation space is not nearing capacity,” Minton said. “The University has 7 students in quarantine and 4 in isolation on campus.”]

UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Chair Mimi Chapman.

“[Campus and Community Advisory Committee] leadership has not been invited to meet with the [Roadmap Implementation Team] or anyone else as we were last fall,” Chapman wrote “The meeting last week was so upsetting it took me several days before I could even think coherently about it. CCAC is no longer functioning in a productive way. It is now thrown together at the last minute with no  advance conversation or planning and no follow-up. ”

“My own standing meetings with Kevin [Guskiewicz] have been rescheduled multiple times making me wonder whether the lack of communication is deliberate,” Chapman wrote. “It is becoming difficult to know what to say to people about where you are and the communication that is veering into the toxically positive once more.”

In Chapman’s email, obtained this week by Policy Watch, she shares her own experience of how infections have already impacted her department.

“In the very small doctoral program that I oversee 2 out of 10 students who are currently in course work have already had to participate in class virtually because of significant COVID exposures,” Chapman wrote. “In addition, one faculty member thought they would have to isolate but got back a negative test in time to teach, and a staff member is sick at home with a break-through infection. That’s just in my small world over the course of one week.  I can’t imagine what is happening elsewhere. “The lack of clear communication from school leadership has become a problem, Chapman wrote, with many now feeling they do not have input into how the campus is handling COVID in the current semester.”

[UPDATE 7 p.m.: After this story’s initial publication UNC-Chapel Hill Media Relations reached out to Policy Watch with a response to Chapman’s characterization of the lack of communication from the school’s top leaders. 

“Regarding communications, the University communicates frequently with the campus community about the pandemic and operational updates, including directly with faculty leadership,” Minton said. “Many messages are online at https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/messages/. Additionally, the Chancellor and Provost have spoken directly in recent weeks to groups like the Faculty Executive Committee and the Campus Community Advisory Committee.”]

In the email Chapman took issue with the school’s promotion of the tradition of students gathering at the campus’ Old Well to take a sip from a fountain at the beginning of the semester for good luck. Images of students gathered in a long line to do so the first day of classes created concern on campus, including among faculty at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. The school said the ritual is part of a normal return to campus and could be done safely as surface transmission of COVID-19 is rare.

“The scene at the Old Well was truly unbelievable,” Chapman said. “The visual is problematic even if that is not likely to be site of transmission as it echoes the water pump/cholera connection that is the foundation of modern epidemiology.”

The event also does not appear to have adhered to Centers for Disease Control guidelines for safe watering points during the COVID-19 pandemic, which advise against gathering in groups and suggests keeping 6 feet of distance between those drinking from the fountain.

Chapman and other faculty have also expressed frustration at what they say are confusing and inadequate guidelines for notification of infections. Among the complaints are a policy that faculty will not be informed if a student in their class tests positive or given any notice if a student is cleared to return to class.

Chapman wrote that she is not in favor of going to all remote teaching without a mandate and believes instructors and students can stay safe in classes as long as they are adhering to the school’s mask mandate.

“But staff are probably not as safe, particularly those who are unvaccinated,” Chapman wrote. “I am also aware – although not from either of you – that you had to fight very hard to get an indoor mask mandate and I am so grateful that you did. ”

But that’s not enough on its own, Chapman wrote.

“Surely there is a way to balance twin realities of being happy to see people back on campus and acknowledging how complicated and difficult all of this for instructors, staff, and for students who are concerned for their own safety and that of others,” Chapman wrote. ” The student I worked with this afternoon, whose roommates are both positive and symptomatic although vaccinated, was distraught thinking she may have exposed her classmates and her instructors yesterday. The staff member I heard from is quite ill, although vaccinated, and did not know about the Regneron infusion site at the hospital.  She was also asking whether break-through infections are being tracked on campus.  I had no idea.”

The lack of information about essential elements of COVID preparedness are concerning, Chapman wrote.

“Somehow, we have got to acknowledge the reality of all of this, let people know more about what they should do when, what resources are available, etc,” she wrote.  “And, we need to make sure we have everything we need in place to keep this under control. Do we have enough quarantine/isolation space? Contact tracers so that we can get to people quickly?  I was pleased to see the new communication about twice per week testing.  That is certainly a needed step.”

Chapman also expressed concern about gatherings and sporting events as the semester progresses.

“But questions are going to continue if we continue down this ‘normal’ road without a clear map,” Chapman wrote.  “Unmasked, packed football stadiums would seem ill-advised. One idea would be to convene a “community conversation” as we did last summer, but not if there can’t be frank communication about the good and the bad of our current situation.  I stand ready to help, but I can’t do very much here in the dark.”

On Sunday The Daily Tar Heel, the campus’ student newspaper, published an editorial in which it also criticized the lack of clear communication and transparency from campus leadership on issues surrounding COVID-19.

The editorial called for mandatory vaccinations, a position student and faculty groups have also supported. The UNC Board of Governors have, so far, not allowed campuses to mandate vaccination. Instead, campuses are asking students and employees to attest as to whether they have been vaccinated. As of Monday, the school says 88 percent of students and 81 percent of faculty and staff have attested to being vaccinated. Students who do not attest that they are vaccinated must now be tested twice a week, up from the school’s original plan of testing once per week.

Without substantive changes in the way the school is handling the pandemic this semester, the Daily Tar Heel editorial said, a return to virtual classes is inevitable.

[UPDATE 8/24: After publication of this story, Policy Watch spoke to Chapman about her email.

While Chapman said she did not intend for her communication to the chancellor and provost to become public, she said she stands by its sentiments. But that’s not the full story, Chapman said. Shortly after she sent the email, Guskiewicz called her and they had a productive conversation about COVID protocols, better communication with faculty and staff and how advisory groups can work better to bring more voices into the campus planning process as the semester progresses.

Chapman said she’ll continue to push for more faculty and staff involvement in pandemic policy on campus and continue to express their sentiments to campus leaders.]

Read Chapman’s full letter below.

Dear Kevin and Bob:

People from various quarters are contacting me feeling like there are two different realities on campus – the view from the street in which everything looks delightfully normal and the view behind the scenes in which leaders are scrambling to respond to scenarios as they are unfolding. Rumors are coming out of Nutrition about a cluster. People keep sending the various and not very consistent guidance that is coming from individual schools and departments. In the very small doctoral program that I oversee 2 out of 10 students who are currently in course work have already had to participate in class virtually because of significant COVID exposures. In addition, one faculty member thought they would have to isolate but got back a negative test in time to teach, and a staff member is sick at home with a break-through infection. That’s just in my small world over the course of one week. I can’t imagine what is happening elsewhere.

CCAC leadership has not been invited to meet with the RIT or anyone else as we were last fall. The meeting last week was so upsetting it took me several days before I could even think coherently about it. CCAC is no longer functioning in a productive way. It is now thrown together at the last minute with no advance conversation or planning and no follow-up.

My own standing meetings with Kevin have been rescheduled multiple times making me wonder whether the lack of communication is deliberate. It is becoming difficult to know what to say to people about where you are and the communication that is veering into the toxically positive once more. The scene at the Old Well was truly unbelievable. The visual is problematic even if that is not likely to be site of transmission as it echoes the water pump/cholera connection that is the foundation of modern epidemiology.

As you know, I am not in favor of going remote without a mandate and I believe that vaccinated instructors are safe in the classroom teaching mask to mask. But staff are probably not as safe, particularly those who are unvaccinated. I am also aware – although not from either of you – that you had to fight very hard to get an indoor mask mandate and I am so grateful that you did.

Surely there is a way to balance twin realities of being happy to see people back on campus and acknowledging how complicated and difficult all of this for instructors, staff, and for students who are concerned for their own safety and that of others. The student I worked with this afternoon, whose roommates are both positive and symptomatic although vaccinated, was distraught thinking she may have exposed her classmates and her instructors yesterday. The staff member I heard from is quite ill, although vaccinated, and did not know about the Regneron infusion site at the hospital. She was also asking whether break-through infections are being tracked on campus. I had no idea.

Somehow, we have got to acknowledge the reality of all of this, let people know more about what they should do when, what resources are available, etc. And, we need to make sure we have everything we need in place to keep this under control. Do we have enough quarantine/isolation space? Contact tracers so that we can get to people quickly? I was pleased to see the new communication about twice per week testing. That is certainly a needed step.

But questions are going to continue if we continue down this “normal” road without a clear map. Unmasked, packed football stadiums would seem ill-advised. One idea would be to convene a “community conversation” as we did last summer, but not if there can’t be frank communication about the good and the bad of our current situation. I stand ready to help, but I can’t do very much here in the dark. And, although I do not speak for them, I imagine Katie and Lamar, copied on this message, might feel the same.

Mimi

Mimi V. Chapman, MSW, Ph.D.

Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor for Human Service Policy Information

Associate Dean for Doctoral Education

School of Social Work

Chair of the Faculty, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

919-843-8282

twitter: @mimivchapman

personal blog: Sympathetic Ink found at https://sympathetic-ink.blog

pronouns: she, her, hers

Free speech group: Ongoing UNC leak investigation violates First Amendment, creates “chilling effect”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education isn’t satisfied with UNC-Chapel Hill’s answers to lingering questions about the school’s investigation of a leaked donor agreement.

Earlier this month, Policy Watch reported  the investigation into the school’s contract with mega-donor Walter Hussman included reading faculty e-mails and questioning professors who have been critical of the Arkansas publisher and alumnus, who pledged $25 million to the school’s journalism school in 2019.

Hussman’s behind-the-scenes lobbying against the hiring of acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones drew new attention to his influence at the university and was a major factor in Hannah-Jones turning down an eventual tenure offer from the school and instead going to Howard University. When the donor agreement between Hussman and the school was published by the News & O

bserver, the school  launched an investigation into the leak.

As part of the ongoing investigation, faculty have been made aware that the contract was on the school’s  server Database for Advancing our Vision of Institutional Excellence (DAVIE) server for months, where hundreds of people would have potentially had access to it.

FIRE previously questioned why the investigation appeared to be centering on professors who had been critical of Hussman’s behavior and the school allowing him access to a confidential hiring process. Those faculty members do not appear to have had access to the contract of the server on which it was available.

In a new letter this week, FIRE said the school’s explanation that it has an interest in investigating leaks to keep such agreements confidential is inadequate.

From that letter:

Assuming that the disclosure of the Hussman donor agreement did, in fact, breach university policy, an investigation into this alleged policy breach should be reasonably limited to those who had actual access to the disclosed document before its disclosure to the Raleigh News & Observer. Here, UNC has instead reportedly targeted faculty members, including journalism professors Deb Aikat and Daniel Kreiss, who did not have regular, pre-disclosure access to the Hussman agreement, as explained in our letter of August 4.

The breadth of UNC’s search of faculty email accounts has not only violated its own policy, but it has also imperiled academic freedom and individual privacy.

First, UNC’s probe into the email accounts of those who had no pre-disclosure access to the Hussman agreement is not “reasonably necessary to acquire the information” needed to investigate that disclosure. To the extent an email probe was necessary at all, an investigation targeted at that which is “reasonably necessary” instead would focus on, for example, the administrators, development personnel, or administrative staff who had actual access to the document in question in UNC’s Database for Advancing our Vision of Institutional Excellence (DAVIE) before the document was disclosed to the News & Observer.

Second, UNC’s probe will cause a chilling effect on faculty speech and academic freedom. In addition to the chill already caused by UNC’s inquiry and its requests to meet with certain outspoken faculty members, as discussed in our previous letter, faculty will now experience further chill, knowing that their emails are potentially being monitored by university administrators. This chill will not only affect conversations critical to the university, but will also affect conversations related to research and pedagogy.

Research and pedagogy—issues at the core of the traditional right to academic freedom—often cover controversial topics, and faculty members may fear retaliation if university administrators have access to personal notes and conversations related to academic pursuits.

It continues to appear that UNC has targeted outspoken faculty, including Kreiss and Aikat, not because it credibly believes these professors were involved in disclosure of the Hussman
agreement, but because they publicly criticized the university. As explained in our previous correspondence, nothing indicates Kreiss’ or Aikat’s criticism was based on access to confidential information not already obtained by the media.

 

Read the full letter here.

In the letter, FIRE asks for more information about how the investigation is being conducted, including whether those with access to the DAVIE server were interviewed. The group has asked for a response by August 25.

 

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill increasing testing frequency for unvaccinated

UNC-Chapel Hill will move to testing students not vaccinated against COVID-19 twice a week, the school announced Thursday.

With students back in classes this week, the university is still acting on an “honor system” method whereby students attest to having been vaccinated but do not have to offer evidence. As of Thursday, the school said 87 percent of students have attested to being vaccinated.

In message to the community Thursday, the school said it was taking the step in reaction to the rise in positive test rates across the state as the Delta variant continues to spread, mostly among the unvaccinated.

Read the full message on increased testing below.

 

Dear Carolina Community,

Welcome back to campus! We are encouraged that our COVID-19 Community Standards are being followed. Together, we are using a layered approach focused primarily on vaccines, masking and testing to help keep our community safe. This approach allows us to remain flexible and to monitor conditions to make changes as needed. With the ongoing rise in positive rates across our state, now is the time to make one important change.

Effective Monday, August 23, students who have not attested they are vaccinated will be tested twice a week as part of the Carolina Together Testing Program. We will monitor this expansion of the testing requirement through September 15 to assess its effectiveness. If you are unvaccinated, have chosen not to provide your information or have yet to respond in ConnectCarolina you will be subject to this updated requirement in HallPass.

As of today, 87% of our students have attested they are fully vaccinated. This is great progress. Thank you for taking this important step to keep yourself and those around you safe.

To be exempt from the Carolina Together Testing Program, get fully vaccinated and update your status in ConnectCarolina.

We want to remind you of some additional COVID-19 related information as we begin the semester:

Get Vaccinated — If you are not yet vaccinated, now is the time to do it. The vaccines are free, safe and effective. You can find information on where to find a vaccine on the Carolina Together website.
Wear a Mask — Masks are required for all members of the Carolina community while indoors on campus, with limited exceptions. Masks are also required indoors throughout Chapel Hill and Orange County. Additionally, we strongly encourage all community members to wear a mask outdoors while at large gatherings or in congested areas.
Carolina Together Testing Program — Free, asymptomatic testing is always available for all members of the Carolina community through the Carolina Together Testing Program. Sign in to the HallPass web application before your initial visit and to access test results.
Remember, effective September 15 unvaccinated faculty and staff will be tested once weekly. To avoid this requirement, get fully vaccinated and update your status online.
Symptomatic or Contact Tracing Testing — If you are experiencing symptoms or are identified as a close contact, do not go to a CTTP location. Students can access testing at Campus Health. Employees should contact their medical provider or a local, community testing location.
Contact Tracing — The University continues to conduct contact tracing in coordination with the Orange County Health Department. Participation in contact tracing is a requirement of the University’s community standards. You will be contacted directly if someone near you tests positive for COVID-19 and given instructions specific to your vaccination status.
Quarantine or Isolation — The Carolina Together website has information about quarantine, isolation and when to get tested if you have symptoms. If you are vaccinated, you will most likely not be directed to quarantine for an asymptomatic exposure, but if you test positive you will be directed to isolate. If you are unvaccinated, more information is available on the Campus Health and Carolina Together websites. The isolation period is mandatory and required under the COVID-19 Community Standards.
Everyone on our campus is either vaccinated or will be regularly tested, and we are all wearing a mask indoors. By increasing the frequency of testing for students, we will be able to more closely monitor and limit any spread of the virus over the coming weeks.

Thank you again for all you are doing to help keep Carolina and our community safe.

Sincerely,

The Carolina Together Testing Program Team