March 4 — Two days before spring break, the University restricted travel to areas in the U.S. where a state of emergency had been declared. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said returning students may be asked to quarantine for two weeks.
Guskiewicz also said students returning from countries with Level 2 or 3 travel advisories had been asked to quarantine away from campus for 14 days.
March 10 – Gov. Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina. There were seven presumed cases of COVID-19 in the state at the time.
March 11 — The University announced it would extend spring break by a week and then move to remote instruction indefinitely. The announcement from Guskiewicz said campus would remain "open and operational," including residence halls.
March 13 — UNC canceled all summer 2020 study abroad and international academic programs.
March 14 — Gov. Cooper ordered all public schools to close. The order has since been extended until May 15.
March 17 — The UNC System said all students must leave their on-campus residence halls unless granted an exception. Later that day, Guskiewicz sent a campus-wide email stating that residence halls would close for the rest of the academic year for students unless they were granted exceptions.
March 17 — Gov. Cooper issued an executive order closing dine-in services at restaurants and bars in N.C. and expanding unemployment benefits.
March 17 — UNC canceled all spring 2020 study abroad and international academic programs.
March 17 — A UNC employee tested presumptively positive for COVID-19.
March 20 — The University postponed spring commencement.
March 20 — UNC offered students an option to declare spring 2020 classes pass/fail until August, while still allowing those classes to count toward major and graduation requirements. The Dean’s List was also suspended for spring 2020.
March 20 — The first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Orange County.
March 21 — Multiple people in the UNC community tested positive for COVID-19, an Alert Carolina message confirmed.
March 24 — North Carolina's first COVID-19 related death was confirmed in Cabarrus County.
March 27 — Orange County's stay-at-home order went into effect.
March 30 — A statewide stay-at-home order went into effect in North Carolina.
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