During Thursday’s webinar to discuss the Carolina Roadmap, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and other University leaders provided further details about UNC’s fall 2020 re-entry, including information about COVID-19 testing protocol and guidance about off-campus social gatherings.
The webinar was aimed at UNC students, who could submit questions through a survey sent prior to the webinar.
Positive COVID-19 cases
Campus Health and their partner at UNC Hospitals will have testing available for students. Ken Pittman, executive director of Campus Health, said the protocol for testing will follow recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 in the fall, Pittman said Campus Health will:
- Notify the Orange County Health Department of the result
- Provide instructions on self-care
- Determine time of isolation for the student based on symptoms
- Work with Carolina Housing, Carolina Dining Services and the Office of the Dean of Students to provide support
- Initiate periodic medical screening
- Initiate close contact tracing
After initiating close contact tracing, Pittman said Campus Health will begin a similar process for students who may have been exposed.
“We do medical monitoring and prove wraparound support services to them so that we make sure we’re taking care of not only our students who have tested positives, our students who are close contacts, but also doing all of those things from a public health standpoint to take care of our Carolina community,” Pittman said.
Remote course options
The current plan will offer in-person, remote and hybrid learning options for students depending on the course. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin said the University will try to accommodate students by making remote course options available wherever possible.
“There may be some laboratory or performing arts elements that might make it more difficult,” Blouin said. “And we will work very carefully and closely with those students to make sure that they can get that experience and that they can stay on track in some other form.”
Blouin said the University will work to accommodate all individuals, students and faculty with an underlying health condition.
To ensure safety in classroom settings, the University will require students and instructors to wear masks. Blouin said depending on the environment, a social distance of 1 meter, recommended by the World Health Organization, or 2 meters (6 feet), recommended by the CDC, will be imposed.
Jonathan Pruitt, vice chancellor for finance and operations, said tuition will remain the same for students who attend classes remotely in the fall as students who are on campus.
Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, said the Registrar’s Office is currently working to clarify instruction types as schools are deciding which form of instruction will best fit their courses. The options and expectations will be on every course syllabus once the decisions are finalized.
Students also posed questions about off-campus social gatherings during the webinar. Jonathan Sauls, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, said 60 percent or more of UNC students live off campus.
He said the University is in conversation with student groups, Greek organizations and apartment complexes to share adjustment plans for the fall.
“Many of them are already working on their own specific plans for how they will regulate common areas, pools, et cetera,” Sauls said. “But they all benefit from having some instincts from what we are doing.”
The Office of Student Affairs will help student organizations transform events to follow social distancing requirements.
University leadership will continue to develop fall semester plans throughout the summer and updates will be posted to the Carolina Together website.
“We are just about eight and a half weeks away from the start of the fall semester,” Guskiewicz said. “And I hope that you will return to campus prepared to adopt our community standards, which are still evolving.”
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