Before the first week of classes came to a close, UNC students received a notification from Alert Carolina identifying clusters of COVID-19 cases in Ehringhaus Residence Hall and Granville Towers. By the end of the weekend, a cluster was confirmed at Hinton James Residence Hall and another at the Sigma Nu fraternity house.
UNC used the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services definition of a cluster, which is five or more cases in a single dwelling or residence hall, but students, faculty and staff were not given any additional information about the number of cases.
Associate Vice Chancellor for University Communications Beth Keith said the University will not disclose the number of cases within each cluster due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Other UNC System schools, however, are releasing specific case counts.
One of the questions on the FAQ document asks if an institution can disclose information regarding a student contracting COVID-19 to other students and the school community without the student's consent.