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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC identifies 3 COVID-19 clusters in Ehringhaus, Parker and Hinton James


Students return to on-campus housing at Hinton James Residence Hall on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

UNC identified COVID-19 clusters at Ehringhaus, Parker and Hinton James residence halls Tuesday, with five to six cases in each cluster.

The University uses the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services definition of a cluster — five or more COVID-19 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiological linkage between cases, according to the Carolina Together website.

For plausible epidemiological linkage, NCDHHS guidance states the local health department should verify that cases were present in the same setting during the same time period, the timing fits with the timing of likely exposure and there is no other more likely source of exposure for the identified cases.

The three epi-linked clusters were identified by floor in the Carolina Together cluster notification — the third floor of Ehringhaus, the third floor of Parker and the seventh and eighth floors of Hinton James respectively.

The clusters were identified after UNC implemented an early testing process for students on specific floors of residence halls, according to the cluster notification.

All individuals in these clusters are isolating and receiving medical monitoring, according to an announcement from the University. Campus Health and the Orange County Health Department are reaching out to close contacts through contact tracing.

The University stated that students on these floors do not need to seek additional testing if they were tested in the last week and not displaying symptoms.

According to the UNC's COVID-19 dashboard, there have been a total of 449 coronavirus cases in August — 389 in students and 60 in employees. The current positivity rate is 2.49 percent.

As of Monday, 89 percent of UNC students have attested that they have been vaccinated, according to the dashboard.