The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday September 21st

Here's how COVID-19 changed life in the University and state over the course of a month

A tent stands outside the emergency wing of the UNC Medical Center on Monday, March 23, 2020. The tent was set up to keep coronavirus patients separated from other patients and hospital staff members.
Buy Photos A tent stands outside the emergency wing of the UNC Medical Center on Monday, March 23, 2020. The tent was set up to keep coronavirus patients separated from other patients and hospital staff members.

One month ago in Chapel Hill, restaurants and bars were still open, large gatherings were allowed and UNC classes were operating in-person as usual. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting social distancing guidelines dramatically changed life in Chapel Hill and the UNC community since then. Among other changes, UNC's classes are now online and a statewide order from Gov. Roy Cooper directed residents to stay at home except for essential reasons.  

From the first case in North Carolina to the University's residence halls closing to the recent stay-at-home order, here's how coronavirus has affected the area so far: 

Feb. 28 — Gov. Cooper confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in North Carolina after a Wake County resident tested positive. 

Feb. 29 — The University canceled study abroad programs to Italy. This added to existing restrictions on travel to South Korea and China. 

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. 

university@dailytarheel.com | city@dailytarheel.com

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