July 23, 2020
Dear Carolina Community,
There are many updates to the Carolina Together website this week, and I hope you will take the time to read through them. The campus-wide effort going into the Roadmap to Fall 2020 is built around a collective commitment among all of us, students, faculty and staff, to embrace and practice our Community Standards and University Guidelines and help promote a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
Students, remember to visit ConnectCarolina if you need to make changes to your class schedule and to acknowledge your commitment to following our Community Standards by proceeding through the COVID-19 Notice and Student Acknowledgement. To complete the requirement, you must read the University Guidelines on face masks, physical distancing and health monitoring included on the page. Completing the acknowledgement is a condition of enrollment whether you will be joining us on-campus or you have chosen to enroll in a schedule of remote courses for the Fall 2020 semester.
The risk of COVID-19 cannot be eliminated, but when you “Know your W’s” – Wear a Mask, Watch your Distance and remain 6 feet apart, Wash your hands often – you are doing your part to keep others safe both on campus and in our local communities. Carolina is a place where we care for one another and doing so has never been more important as we work to fulfill our mission of teaching, research and service.
The University is providing Carolina Together Care Kits for students, faculty and staff who return to campus for Fall 2020. The kits include masks, hand sanitizer and other items to help keep each other safe this fall. For students, kits will be distributed at campus locations Aug. 8-11, with more details to come. For employees, kits will be distributed by your unit’s Community Protective Equipment (CPE) coordinator beginning Aug. 10.
If you lose your face mask, masks will be made available to students, faculty and staff throughout the semester. Employees can obtain CPE from their unit coordinator. Students will find masks at distribution locations across campus, which will be shared soon. Wearing a mask, on campus and off, helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and others safe.
Carolina Housing sent a fall 2020 update to residents today with several updates. Please visit housing.unc.edu for complete information and details.
Living on campus will be very different this fall. It’s important for residents to make the most informed housing decision that suits their individual circumstances. These changes will alter the on-campus experience this fall:
- Masks are required in suites/apartments and in all common areas. Masks are not required while in your assigned room with the door closed.
- All residential students may cancel their housing contract for any reason and without penalty through August 2, 2020. Beginning August 3, 2020 (the first day of move-in), student-initiated contract cancellations will be accompanied by the standard cancellation costs.
- All students who cancel their fall housing contract (including those students participating in Carolina Away) prior to August 3, will be given priority for on-campus housing in the Spring 2020 semester.Information regarding spring housing will be available in early October.
- For the health and wellbeing of residents and housing staff, residence hall visitation will be suspended until further notice with the exception of approved accommodations (e.g., personal health aides).Only residents officially assigned to a particular room/suite/apartment/building are permitted to be physically present in those spaces.
- University Housekeeping staff are performing enhanced cleaning/disinfection of “high touch” areas (elevator buttons, exterior door handles, etc.), common areas (laundry rooms, lounges, kitchens, etc.) and restrooms throughout each day.
- New residents should self-monitor for symptoms and alert Campus Health if symptoms develop or if they become aware of exposure or close contact to an individual who has tested positive.
Complete information is on the Housing website.
Our facilities and housekeeping staff have dedicated many hours installing directional signage in buildings across campus, indicating the ideal traffic flow for entrances and exits, hallways, stairwells, etc. The placement for signage for each building has been carefully designed in consultation with individual departments, deans and the classroom operations team and in consultation with public health experts.
Similar signage will soon be appearing in our outdoor spaces, emphasizing Know your W’s, demonstrating six feet of physical distance, and demonstrating distancing patterns for outdoor spaces such as Polk Place or the Arboretum.
The University is providing resources to answer questions about funding being provided under the CARES Act. Scholarships and Student Aid has updated their website to provide information for students and families interested in information about financial support for COVID-19 pandemic-related hardships from the CARES Act and the Carolina Student Impact Fund. The University has a page with general information on this funding and how it is being distributed.
Consistent with the State Human Resources Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as other privacy considerations, schools, departments and units should not communicate about COVID-19 positive cases broadly to their populations. Individuals who have been potentially exposed to a positive individual will be notified through the University’s contact tracing procedures.
The University is committed to communicating important information in a timely manner while maintaining the privacy of students, faculty and staff. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to inform specific campus populations – whether within a specific residence hall, office building, classroom or other defined campus environment – as an additional precaution, subject to important privacy laws that prevent the disclosure of information that may be used to identify the individual(s) who tested positive. The University will make decisions on any communications to specific campus populations based upon approved guidelines.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is currently working with fraternity and sorority house leadership and housing corporations to develop COVID-19 related house management plans based on CDC guidance and with significant oversight from the Orange County Health Department. The University, in cooperation with the Orange County Health Department, will review these plans prior to the start of the fall semester. Those plans include items related to occupancy, dining protocols, meeting capacities and compliance with local and state government requirements and guidelines. OFSL is working with each chapter to implement meaningful virtual experiences for all large events, including recruitment, induction and other chapter operations. More details and specifics about these plans should be finalized by the end of the month.
The schools, our academic staff and faculty are working to provide mode of instruction options for courses so students can take advantage of the flexibility of studying either remotely or on-campus this term. We have updated the In the Classroom section with detail about what you can expect from each option the help students choose classes that best align with their plans for the fall semester.
Students will also find resources in this section directing them to more information if they are eligible for academic accommodations, information on non-medical circumstances, and information on approved absences.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost