Dear Carolina Community,
On Monday, August 17, the Chancellor and Provost shared that we were seeing a rapidly escalating increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate and associated clusters on our campus, and we started the process to further de-densify our community. Since Monday, we have continued to see an escalation of positive test results on our campus.
As a result of that continued increase, and in consultation with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Orange County Health Department, we are implementing testing for three residence halls – Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers – beginning Friday, August 21, through Sunday, August 23.
Previously we alerted the campus to clusters of five or more cases at each of these three residence halls. As of this afternoon, there are additional positive cases at Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers, with many close contacts in quarantine. With an increasing rate of positive tests, it is necessary to conduct large group testing to help identify more cases and help prevent further spread. Residents in these halls will receive an email later this evening with instructions on how to get tested.
All employees who work in Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers, including housekeepers, will be tested starting tomorrow in a separate process and will receive a communication with more details.
In addition, given the evolving prevalence of COVID cases on our campus and to create greater transparency for our campus and neighboring communities, we are making two changes to how we are reporting information to the public. For the time being, we will provide daily updates for Campus Positive Cases on the Carolina Together dashboard Monday through Friday. We will share the precise case numbers on the dashboard webpage from clusters that are detected at residence halls to better inform our community about the severity of those clusters. These changes will be effective tomorrow.
We realize that this is a difficult time for many in our community, and we encourage you to reach out for resources and support. The CV19 Student Care Hub will remain open and available for you during the fall semester. Please reach out to the Hub if you need assistance with financial resources, academic support, or health and wellness information. If you need mental health support, please contact the 24/7 CAPS phone line at 919-966-3658 to be connected with a counselor. You can also make appointments online by visiting caps.unc.edu. Starting tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 21, you can call our Carolina Together Hotline at 919-445-5000, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. Messages left after hours and weekends will be responded to within one business day.
Robert A. Blouin