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UNC System to require weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students

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The UNC System President Peter Hans speaks at a meeting of the Board of Governors on Jan. 21, 2021. The BOG met to discuss safety concerns and vacant board positions.

The UNC System has announced Thursday that all students returning to campuses must get vaccinated – or be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.

This announcement, in the midst of increased delta variant COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, will require students to report their vaccination status to their respective university in order to be exempt from COVID-19 testing.

“This fall, all campuses will operate under a ‘Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly’ requirement for students,” Norma Houston, Chief of Staff to the UNC System Office, said in a statement. “Universities are collecting information on students’ vaccination status, and any unvaccinated students will be subject to weekly, or more frequent, testing.”

Later this week, UNC System President Peter Hans will release guidelines for university chancellors to implement the ‘Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly’  requirement for faculty and staff.

“Chancellors have full authority to implement these measures as best meets the unique circumstances and conditions of their campuses,” Houston said. “It is only fair that we ask our employees to abide by the same safety protocols we’ve already put in place for our students.”

In a UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Aug 4., Provost Bob Blouin said that almost 25,000 students have reported their vaccination status, with 88 percent of those students providing documentation to support it. 

A resolve by the FEC requested that the UNC System delegate authority to the UNC-CH chancellor and provost to require proof of vaccination for students and employees — in addition to providing guidance on safe masking protocols.

The University will not require vaccination, but will instead follow the guidelines in the ‘Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly’ requirement.