The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday May 17th

2020 Coronavirus Outbreak


A student studies on the quad near Carroll Hall while adhering to social distancing guidelines on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

'New voices': UNC introduces approach to spring semester planning involving students

The University is taking a new approach to planning for the spring semester that includes a new Campus and Community Advisory Committee following an unsuccessful return to in-person classes this fall. Bob Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost, is leading the spring semester planning process. Three advisory groups will work together and report directly to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz regarding a potential return to campus. In reflecting on the fall semester at UNC, Blouin said that the University had success in limiting COVID-19 transmission in areas where it could assert more control over student behavior, such as classrooms, research and other on-campus settings.

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Chapel Ridge Apartments is an off-campus apartment complex where many UNC students live.

Town officials, students concerned about uncertainty of off-campus COVID-19 reporting

Uncertainty regarding the accuracy of off-campus students’ COVID-19 testing and reporting persists. Carrboro Town Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell said she is concerned about the accuracy of off-campus student case reporting. Taylor Steele, a senior at UNC who lives in off-campus apartment complex Chapel Ridge, said she believes there are cases at Chapel Ridge, even though she said she hasn’t received any notification from the apartment complex about testing, reporting or positive cases.  Courtney Schnee, the senior vice president and asset manager at Northwood Ravin, said Northwood Ravin has taken several steps to limit the spread of coronavirus at its Chapel Hill properties, including using hospital-grade sanitizing misters and restricting the capacity of amenities such as the pool.

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The N.C. Museum of Art reopened on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 with Covid19 restrictions after Governor Roy Cooper's Phase 2.5 eased public restrictions. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Museum of Art.

Now allowed to reopen, museums develop a broad array of plans to welcome back patrons

As North Carolina moves into Phase 2.5, museums in the Triangle area are able to reopen at limited capacity. The North Carolina Museum of Art is now open, with the North Carolina Museum of Sciences opening soon. Facing lost revenue due to the pandemic, these museums have come up with innovative ways to share the museum experience virtually and some are now opening their doors once more to visitors in person.

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Flicka Bateman, director, and Eh Moo, administrative assistant, pose for a portrait with members of a refugee family outside of the Refugee Support Center in Carrboro on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. The family members are holding bags of diapers, which Bateman said the Center distributes monthly that families can spend up to $80 a month on.

Local organizations assist refugees through COVID-19 pandemic

The Refugee Support Center serves approximately 900 refugees who primarily primarily come from Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria. Flicka Bateman, the center's director, said many refugees work in industries that have lost a lot of business and have laid off employees, such as hotels, restaurants and housekeeping. 

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DTH Photo Illustration. Only two weeks after students were expected to leave their on-campus housing and attend classes remotely, students living off-campus are struggling with internet accessibility.

Off-campus students struggle with internet access during a remote semester

Several off-campus students at UNC are struggling with internet connectivity issues this fall. Since the pandemic caused undergraduate classes to go online, access to internet has become essential. Jeff Sural, director of the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office, said the influx of college students and residents using the internet in quarantine can result in slower internet connections for those in the area. UNC is offering students a $200 internet supplement award through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to help students purchase internet this semester, UNC Media Relations said in an email.

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