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Tuesday September 28th

As students get vaccinated, Campus and Community Advisory Committee discusses fall plans

<p>Screenshot from the Campus Community and Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, April 8, 2021.</p>
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Screenshot from the Campus Community and Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Over 2,500 students have been vaccinated through UNC's student clinic, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Thursday. And as more and more members of the campus community are vaccinated against COVID-19, UNC’s Campus and Community Advisory Committee met Thursday to discuss plans for the fall semester.

The meeting comes as state restrictions are being lifted.

What’s new?

  • Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz informed the committee that over 2,500 students have been vaccinated at the Student Union in the week since it opened, and he anticipates the majority of students to be vaccinated in the next two weeks.
  • The CCAC discussed the importance of students and staff who are vaccinated making an effort to register their vaccine, in hopes of having documentable proof for the fall 2021 semester. While the University said it cannot mandate the registry, it is highly recommended so that data about the vaccinated population can assist with future University decisions.
  • Guskiewicz and many members of the CCAC said that, even though Orange County and North Carolina officials have lifted many COVID-19 restrictions, students and staff are encouraged to continue to follow these mandates, including regular testing, until May graduation.

What’s next?

  • The fall 2021 semester is projected to look as “normal” as possible. Residence halls and classrooms are forecasted to be close to full capacity. Guskiewicz and University officials intend to follow science and anticipate mask requirements and social distancing will continue into the fall.
  • The continuance of the Carolina Together Testing Program during the fall 2021 semester is being debated. It is projected that the majority of students will be fully vaccinated and on-campus by August. 
  • Many CCAC members expressed the importance of continuing to have online options in the fall for students who are unable to return to campus. Members advocated for the flexibility provided by the Carolina Away program — which nearly 850 students participated in this semester — to continue during the fall semester.
  • The topic of required re-entry testing for staff and faculty for the fall semester, which was not required in the 2020 fall semester, was debated during the meeting. Guskiewicz said he intends to see how herd immunity impacts case numbers and determine the value of re-entry testing for faculty and staff going forward.

Who is on the committee?

  • The committee is made up of students, faculty, community members and staff from different UNC departments.
  • The committee was assembled in September 2020 to reflect on the fall 2020 semester. The CCAC allows for members to provide input related to specific topics and concerns about the University’s pandemic response. 
  • CCAC meetings include conversations, not only with faculty and staff, but with the general public and interested students.

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