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UNC-Chapel Hill providing COVID-19 tests for students ahead of winter break

UNC-Chapel Hill announced plans Thursday to provide COVID-19 tests for students leaving campus for the winter break.

The move comes after North Carolina saw a single COVID-related death record Tuesday with 67 and reported the second highest single-day infection rate since the start of the pandemic on Thursday with 2,859.

“Taking a COVID-19 test is an important step in protecting your family and friends who you may be reunited with over the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Campus Health Director Ken Pittman in a statement Thursday. “As you prepare to leave your residence halls, apartments and homes in town at the end of the semester, please make a plan to reduce your risk of being exposed to COVID-19 during the 14 days before you travel, monitor for symptoms and get tested before you leave. These steps are critical to helping prevent illness in the people you love.”

The school is not requiring the testing but is “strongly encouraging” it.

From the school’s announcement:

  • All students are strongly encouraged to get tested. 
  • Hours are extending for free, asymptomatic testing at the Carolina Union by Campus Health during the week of Nov. 16. Test results are expected in approximately two days. 
  • Students should also make a plan to reduce their exposure risk for the 14 days prior to returning home. 
  • Students are also encouraged to get a flu vaccine before returning home, either at Campus Health or the Student Stores Pharmacy or Campus Health Pharmacy. 

Campus Health will extend its hours at the Carolina Union for free asymptomatic testing during the week of Nov. 16 to accommodate the influx of students getting tested. With a new online platform, test results are expected to return within 1-2 days. Make a plan that allows you to receive the results before traveling.

Here’s what you need to know about asymptomatic testing the week of Nov. 16:

  • Who: On and off-campus students who are asymptomatic and are not considered a close contact to a positive individual. NOTE: Symptomatic individuals and close contacts should contact Campus Health separately to get tested.
  • When: Nov. 16-20 – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (See the Campus Health website for times before and after the week of Nov. 16-20.)
  • Where: Carolina Union Gallery area, outside of the Great Hall
  • How: Saliva-based test; no nasal swabs. Students are asked not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before getting tested. You will find more information and detailed instructions about testing at the Campus Health website.
  • Parking: There are 10 spaces reserved in the Undergraduate Lot (N8)
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UNC-Chapel Hill providing COVID-19 tests for students ahead of winter break