The positive test rate on campus jumped from 2.8 to 13.6 percent the previous week, the university said in a statement.
The campus reported clusters of coronavirus cases linked to residence halls, classes, and a fraternity, Sigma Nu. Of the tested students, 177 are currently in isolation. Another 349 were placed in quarantine, both on and off-campus.
Only 60 percent of the university dorms were occupied, and 30 percent of students were attending in-person classes. Nearly 20,000 students will now move to remote learning.
Changes on Campus
To contain the virus and mitigate continued community spread within residence halls, students will have the opportunity to cancel housing requests with no penalty. The university is also working with UNC offices to decrease residential density on campus. Residents who lack access to reliable internet or international students will have the option to remain on campus.
We recognize this shift may cause additional stress on your mental health during an already challenging time. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or overwhelmed, we encourage you to reach out to CAPS or a mental health professional for support https://t.co/BaKlNB6jEr
— UNC-Chapel Hill (@UNC) August 17, 2020
Contact tracing with direct communication has been initiated to those who have had close contact with a positive-tested individual.
“We are asking, again, for everyone in our community to adhere to the Community Standards,” said Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Chancellor of UNC. “For your own personal well-being, as well as the health and safety of everyone around you, it [is] especially important that everyone adhere to state and local orders prohibiting mass gatherings, defined by 25 or more people outdoors and 10 or more people indoors.”
Close to 30 percent of US universities chose to go completely online, while 15 percent opted for a hybrid model. Nearly 25 percent of American universities decided to resume classes in person, according to the College Crisis reports.