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Wednesday February 1st

BOT discusses in-person classes, recent vandalism attack and COVID-19 testing

<p>Screenshot of the Board of Trustees meeting held over Zoom on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.</p>
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Screenshot of the Board of Trustees meeting held over Zoom on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

The University plans to resume in-person instruction on Feb. 8, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said at Thursday's meeting of the Board of Trustees. 

The Board also discussed the recent vandalism at the Campus Y, COVID-19 updates and the Carolina Together Testing Program Thursday. 

What’s new?

  • Student Body President Reeves Moseley addressed the vandalism at the Campus Y that occurred Sunday.
    • Moseley said he offers support to students who were impacted by the attack, and said there is still work to be done to protect marginalized communities.  
      • “We as an entity must continue to stand up and fight against discrimination,” he said. “Student Government will be working to support the Campus Y and other student organizations affected by this attack.”
    • Moseley also said Student Government is working to emphasize mental health this semester. 
      • “We will attempt to activate mental health conversations with surveys throughout the entire semester,” he said. “We will also potentially utilize student housing resources to make suicide prevention resources more widely available to students.” 
  • The Board of Trustees then discussed COVID-19 updates for the spring semester. 
    • Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said the University is currently preparing for the start of in-person instruction on Feb. 8.
      • “We made these adjustments to the academic calendar to provide as much flexibility as possible for a safe return to campus,” he said. 
    • Guskiewicz said the prior-to-arrival testing program has been able to identify 168 positive COVID-19 cases. 
      • “We've been very clear from the beginning that there would be cases on our campus, and we are prepared to handle them,” he said. “We've been doing this for nearly three weeks now and it's working very well, but we still have a ways to go.” 
  • The Board members also discussed updates on the Carolina Together testing program. 
    • Dr. Amir Barzin, assistant professor at the UNC School of Medicine, said the three testing sites have seen dramatically shorter waiting times than the first week of testing.  
      • “We didn't have a line longer than five to ten minutes,” Barzin said. “Most of the time, you could go in and not have to wait at all.” 
    • Dr. Amy Loftis, medical laboratory supervisor in the Department of Global Health and Infectious Disease, said that as of Jan. 28, the lab has returned nearly 23,000 COVID-19 tests. 
    • “That's a really big number for a lab that didn't exist until a few weeks ago,” Loftis said. “The team is working around the clock to improve efficiencies.”

What’s next?

  • The next scheduled meeting of the Board is set for March 24 and 25.

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