12.14.20 COVID-18 Update: Undergraduate Prior to Arrival Testing

Bell Tower at night
The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower is ceremoniously illuminated blue to represent a General Alumni Association tradition of relighting the bell tower prior to the start of the academic year on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. July 28, 2020. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Undergraduate Students,

You may have seen the Chancellor’s announcement introducing the Carolina Together Testing Program for Spring 2021 on November 23. Today I’m writing to provide more specific information that applies to the testing requirements for the spring semester. Your ability to return to the area for the spring semester will require some advanced planning through the winter break, so please take note of what will need to be completed. We have included a printable chart that you can fill out with the relevant dates.

The following information is exclusively for the spring semester testing program. Details about testing availability and recommendations over winter break are included in my December 4 email to students.

Undergraduate students who are living on campus or in Chapel Hill or Carrboro or are planning to come to campus for classes, participate in on-campus activities, or access on-campus facilities (e.g. Campus Recreation, University Libraries) will be required to participate in prior to arrival testing. This will include the following steps, which are outlined in the printable chart:

  • Update the address where you are living for spring semester in ConnectCarolina
  • Limit your interactions with others for two weeks prior to arrival
  • Take a COVID-19 test and obtain results as early as possible in the five-day window prior to your arrival in order to receive and upload your test results to ConnectCarolina

You should complete a COVID-19 test, and receive the results, within the five days immediately before your arrival to the area. For example, if you are due to arrive on January 13, please be sure you conduct a test between January 8 and January 12 so that you can receive and upload results on January 12 prior to your arrival.

Proof of a negative antigen (if asymptomatic) or PCR (if asymptomatic or symptomatic) test will need to be uploaded to ConnectCarolina before returning to campus. Antibody tests will not be accepted. If your test result is positive prior to your arrival, you should upload the result, isolate, and not come to campus. Campus Health will be in touch with you regarding a return to campus date. More information about Prior to Arrival testing is available on the Carolina Together site.

For students who have had a prior COVID-19 test that was positive between October 1 and January 1, you will need to provide proof of that test prior to arrival to campus via ConnectCarolina.

Undergraduate students living on campus or in the Chapel Hill or Carrboro area, regardless of mode of learning, will also be required to take another test once you arrive on campus or the Chapel Hill or Carrboro area. Undergraduates who will take in-person classes this spring or who will live on campus or in Chapel Hill or Carrboro will also need to conduct regular, asymptomatic testing at the Carolina Together Testing Centers. More information on the testing requirements for each group can be found on the Carolina Together Testing Program page.

Testing is an important part of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our spring semester testing approach will allow the University to identify cases and trends quickly and contain potential clusters earlier. However, testing is just one element of our plan to mitigate the spread of the virus. It is still crucial for you to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and follow the other required COVID-19 Community Standards. Together, these steps will put us in the best position to have a successful semester and minimize the impact of the virus on our community.

We appreciate your partnership in helping to keep our students and the entire Carolina community safe. Please visit the Carolina Together Testing Program page for information about our spring semester plans and testing procedures.

Together, we will beat this virus and continue to thrive. Go Heels!


Amy Johnson
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

This message is sponsored by: Student Affairs