Update: Campus Health has started waiving the $50 weekend charge for COVID-19 testing and care at the beginning of fall semester. However, some students were recently charged in error (if this is the case, they can contact Campus Health Patient Accounts for a refund), according UNC Media Relations.
Additionally, Media Relations stated that COVID-19 testing at Campus Health is intended for symptomatic students, while asymptomatic students and employees are tested through the Carolina Together Testing Program at the Carolina Union.
COVID-19 testing has been a point of contention for UNC as the school attempts a “normal return” to college life during the ongoing pandemic. At the beginning of August, UNC only required testing once a week for unvaccinated individuals and allowed vaccinated students to opt-out altogether.
Around one in three people who have coronavirus don’t have symptoms, but could be spreading it to other individuals. Regular testing, in addition to getting vaccinated and social distancing, is one of the ways to slow virus spread.
On Aug. 24, UNC changed its testing policy to twice a week for unvaccinated students. However, testing for vaccinated individuals still remained completely optional.
UNC Media Relations told The Daily Tar Heel Monday that being able to opt-out of regular testing is a "major incentive" for students to get vaccinated. But it isn't enough.
We know COVID-19 vaccines are not 100 percent foolproof, and breakthrough cases have occurred.