Important Student Reminder

Student walking in The Pit.
Campus scene a few days before the start of the Fall semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. August 5, 2020. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

August 27, 2020

Dear Carolina Students,

We know that this is a challenging time — and that the University’s decision to move to remote undergraduate instruction has been difficult, requiring many of you to adjust to new modes of learning and living environments. While this is not the situation that any of us wanted or hoped for this fall, we want to do everything possible to ensure you achieve success academically and find personal growth as a member of your community.

The pandemic is requiring all of us to take steps to protect our health and safety — and that of others. Last week, we shared that we are seeing a rapid increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate and associated clusters on our campus, and we started the process to further de-densify our community. Unfortunately, the numbers of positive cases remain high. Given this, there are a number of important health-related guidelines that you must follow.

Community Standards

The University requires you to wear masks over your mouth and nose and maintain physical distancing at all times. We recognize and appreciate that many of you are following our Community Standards to protect yourselves and each other. However, we continue to receive multiple reports that students are gathering on campus and in the community without masks. This is simply unacceptable. The increasing number of clusters should be a clear call to all of our students that we are not yet doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. 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 as 25 or more people outdoors and 10 or more people indoors. Further, it is essential that you wear a mask if gathering with people from outside your residence.

As you recall, you signed an acknowledgement that your compliance with these standards and guidelines is a condition of your enrollment. Let this email serve as a reminder that any repeated and/or willful failure to comply with these standards can result in your disenrollment, and/or subject you to disciplinary proceedings.

As a reminder specifically to our students who live off campus, not only are your actions subject to University response and discipline, you are also subject to local and state ordinances and the repercussions that follow, if you do not adhere to these ordinances. We want to inform you that the Chapel Hill Police Department has announced their plan to issue more COVID-19 related warnings and citations, due to the need to address the rapid spread of the virus in our community. Chapel Hill Police will also provide the University reports of these violations, and we will pursue appropriate action as warranted.

We implore you to adhere to these community standards and to take action by modeling these behaviors for all members of our campus community. It’s the responsibility of everyone to protect not only our health, but the health of those around us.


The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) are directing current and former residents of on-campus residence halls and fraternities and sororities that have shown cluster activity to get tested for COVID-19.

While our efforts are focused on testing for students from areas with identified clusters, the University has made additional testing available for all students, regardless of whether you are exhibiting symptoms.

  • Campus Health: To request an appointment please call 919-966-2281 or visit the Campus Health Healthy Heels secure portal. Testing hours are Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. this week. Walk-ins during these times will be accepted but the wait time for those with an appointment will be significantly shorter.
  • UNC Health Respiratory Diagnostic Center: This is a UNC Health testing facility located on campus. If you have a vehicle it is preferred that you drive up to this location. The address will be provided at the time of scheduling. To be tested at this location: Please complete the form on this link and the UNC Health team will call you to set up an appointment for testing. Please do not show up without a scheduled appointment.

Test results from these two locations will be returned within one to three days. While you are waiting for your test results, you should stay in your residence and, as much as possible, avoid others.

Getting Tested at Home

We recognize that some of you may have already returned to your permanent residence or are en route home. To identify a testing location in your area, visit If you test while at home and receive a positive result, the University’s Guidelines on Health Monitoring requires you to report that result to Campus Health at 919-966-2281.

Guidance Following Your Test Results

Students who test positive must isolate until they meet criteria for ending isolation (i.e., 10 days from onset of symptoms or day of positive test, as well as no fever or symptoms for 24 hours). Campus Health will contact on-campus residents with isolation instructions, which includes relocation to dedicated isolation space on campus.

IMPORTANT: If you test negative, you should still self-quarantine for 14 days if you are in one of the areas that were identified as having clusters or if you have been otherwise exposed to the virus. A negative test means that you were not infected that day, but you could become positive up to 14 days after your last exposure risk. In other words, a negative test is not a free pass out of quarantine. You could still unknowingly pass COVID to others during those 14 days.

Contact Tracing

If you test positive, you will be asked for your close contacts, who will receive further quarantine instructions. Your name and information will not be shared and remains confidential. We are learning that an increasing number of our students are hesitant or unwilling to disclose positive test results and cooperate with contact tracing processes coordinated by Campus Health and OCHD. If you are contacted by a member of either the Campus Health or OCHD contact tracing team, it is imperative you are truthful and forthcoming about your symptoms and/or exposure to others to protect everyone around you.

Students from Areas Identified with Clusters Should Self-Quarantine for 14 Days

As a further step to stop the spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS and OCHD are directing students from areas with identified clusters – including students who remain in campus housing and students who have returned home – to stay in your residence for 14 days and limit your time outside your residence to essential activities only, such as to pursue medical care and to obtain take-out meals. For more information on what to do and avoid while in quarantine, please see this resource guide on the NCDHHS website.

We understand that we are asking a lot from you, and that these are challenging times. If you find yourself needing extra support right now, please visit our Student Care Hub. We are here to support you as you navigate the impact of these extraordinary circumstances.

We need your cooperation and collective action now more than ever. Please do your part to help keep our Tar Heel family and local community safe and well.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor, Provost

Amy Johnson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

This message is sponsored by: Office of the Chancellor