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UNC announces updated COVID-19 policies for fall semester return

Senior psychology major Juliet Alegria "double masks" to study in Davis Library on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022.

UNC announced updated COVID-19 policies for the fall 2022 semester in a campus-wide email Friday. 

The University will not have any testing requirements for asymptomatic individuals on campus and will no longer provide voluntary asymptomatic testing. 

Symptomatic testing for students will still be provided at Campus Health and all students should report positive results from off-campus testing or at-home tests to Campus Health. Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 at Campus Health or who reports a positive test must isolate, per University guidelines. 

Students who are living in residence halls can isolate at home or in their residence hall room. More detailed isolation information can be found on the Campus Health website. 

Faculty and Staff can report their positive results through the COVID-19 Wellness Check and should follow CDC guidelines on isolation and quarantine. 

The University Approved Absence process has also been updated for students  who receive a positive COVID-19 test. In order to be excused from class due to isolation, students will need to submit a request to the University Approved Absence Office. Tests conducted at Campus Health will automatically generate a University Approved Absence form. 

The University is not requiring vaccine attestation or re-entry testing for the fall 2022 semester, but both are encouraged. If a student is exhibiting symptoms or has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID, testing before returning to campus is strongly recommended in the email.

Testing will continue to be available at Campus Health for students who are exhibiting symptoms, but faculty and staff should be tested at their local health care provider. Asymptomatic testing will no longer be available for individuals on campus, according to the email.

At-home test kits are available on campus at the Student Stores Pharmacy, Campus Health, and typically the vending machines in both Rams Head and the Student Union.

Free at-home testing kits are also available through the United States Postal Service, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and most health plans according to the email.

The University has not changed its mask policies since it lifted its indoor mask mandate on March 2

Masks are still required in all healthcare settings — including Campus Health and UNC Health. Masks are also required on university transit including P2P and Safe Ride, as well as on Chapel Hill Transit. 

“There are many reasons why a person may decide to continue to wear a mask, and we respect that choice,” the email said. “Conversely, students, faculty and staff should not be penalized if they do not wear a mask in their classroom or office setting where it is now optional.

COVID-19 vaccines boosters are available on campus with no cost to students, staff, faculty or community members over the age of 12. Vaccines will be available between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Student Stores Pharmacy and Campus Health Pharmacy with no appointment necessary, according to the email.

The email said UNC’s health care facilities have expanded their capacity for outpatient treatment and home test kits have allowed for more rapid identification of cases. More details are available on the Carolina Together website

The University will continue to monitor conditions and make changes to the standards if necessary, the email said.

“As we have said since the start of the pandemic, these decisions were made in consultation with our own public health and infectious disease experts as well as the Orange County Health Department,” the email said.

@_ElizabethEgan @livvreilly

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