With classes starting in less than a month, questions remain about how the University will handle contact tracing for students who come into contact with a COVID-19-infected person.
The short passage relating to contact tracing on the Campus Health website says that UNC will abide by the CDC definition of a close contact, which it states as: “Any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before symptom onset for symptomatic individuals and two days prior to positive specimen collection for asymptomatic individuals."
Students in close contact with an infected person will be notified, told to quarantine, given self-monitoring instructions and be provided arrangements, if necessary, according to the Campus Health website.
The close contacts will also receive self-monitoring instructions and daily emails from Campus Health.
According to the contact tracing policy on the Campus Health website, “close contact” does not include “... individuals who maintain at least 6 feet physical separation in a classroom or congregate setting while masked. …”
Carolina Together, UNC’s roadmap website for the fall semester, says no broad announcement is necessary when a student has tested positive for COVID-19, because the student’s close contacts will be notified personally.
Rising junior Jenna DeMartino said she thinks students should be informed if there are positive cases at UNC.
“I don't like that policy, because I would want to know what's going on on campus and how much I'm at risk to get coronavirus,” she said.
A spokesperson for UNC said the University cannot make broad announcements when students contract COVID-19 because of state and federal laws.