UNC Campus Health will no longer be operating on Sundays starting Sept. 12, the University announced in a campus email Thursday.
Students will have access to healthcare services six days a week on campus. Campus Health will continue to be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Campus Health Director Ken Pittman said the decision was based on specific circumstances and will not be Campus Health's long-term goal – he plans on re-evaluating it after the fall semester.
"We've been in this pandemic for 18 months and the resources that had been required to care for a campus community within a pandemic are pretty taxing," Pittman said.
He said the Campus Health staff has operated seven days a week for a significant period of time, meaning staff can work for up to 12 days without a break. Pittman said that Campus Health wants to focus on the wellbeing of its staff.
"This semester will give our staff knowledge that they will not have to work one day a week, and they will be able to spend time with their families, I think that will help their physical and mental health," he said.
Students can still call Campus Health on Sundays to be connected with a nurse advice line at (919) 966-2281 to discuss health issues and concerns.
Based on clinical criteria, if that nurse believes that the caller need assistance, they can refer that student to an urgent care center, another provider or the hospital emergency department.
Campus Health also has a physician who is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, Pittman said.
Pittman said these reduced operating hours will help the staff better serve students during the six days that Campus Health is open. Campus Health typically only received 15 to 20 visits on Sundays, Pittman said.
"We typically have a bit higher volume on Saturdays than we do on Sundays," he said. "And so that's why we're selecting Saturday to remain open. That seemed like the best choice in terms of looking at which day on a weekend to close Sunday."
Thursday's email also provided updates about COVID-19 on campus. Campus Health has not received any reports of student hospitalizations due to COVID-19 this semester, according to the email.
"The vast majority of the positive cases we have identified in our community have experienced relatively mild, cold-like symptoms, with only a few people experiencing moderate symptoms like the flu," the email states.
The Carolina Together Testing program team said it does not recommend students get tested more than once per week if students and faculty are asymptomatic, vaccinated and not considered close contact with positive cases.
According to the UNC Chapel Hill COVID-19 dashboard, 92 percent of students and 89 percent of employees have attested that they are vaccinated.
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