Summer 2021 Campus Update

Old Well in springtime
The Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. April 8, 2021. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

We’ve reached the final month of the semester, and Carolina is experiencing for the first time in many months a sense of enthusiasm and hope knowing that we are on track for a successful end to the 2020-2021 academic year. We want to thank everyone for their personal sacrifice. Your commitment to following our COVID-19 Community Standards has helped make this possible.

We are writing to provide you with some updates about the summer and fall campus operations. While we are optimistic about the increased pace of the vaccine campaign and what that means for our campus, we are also operating with some uncertainty associated with the virus and variants right now. As we make decisions, we will communicate those to you in as timely a manner as possible, but please know that some specific details may not be able to be finalized until we have more information about the path of the virus.

We continue to urge you to get vaccinated as soon as you can — having as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible is our best defense against the virus. Once you’ve been vaccinated, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to let UNC-Chapel Hill know they have received one or both does of an FDA-authorized vaccine using the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification form.


We are looking forward to welcoming students and members of the community to campus this summer for classes and for day camps and summer programs. Our COVID-19 Community Standards will remain in place throughout the summer, along with the following specific restrictions.

  • The Carolina Together Testing Program has been crucial to our successful spring semester, and we will continue to have mandated testing protocols in place for the summer:
    • Mandated tests will be required this summer regardless of whether you have received a vaccine
    • Undergraduate students living on-campus will be required to test two times per week
    • Other Undergraduate students taking in-person summer classes will be required to test one time per week
    • Graduate and professional students taking or instructing in-person summer classes will be required to test one time per week
    • The program will remain available for all faculty, staff and students for voluntary testing
  • Directors and administrators of all on-campus summer camps or programs, regardless of whether they are overnight, residential or day camps or programs, must submit a proposal for review and approval by the Office of the Provost which details how they will comply with COVID-19 Community Standards and collect prior-to-arrival tests (see below). Please use the webform on the Carolina Together website.
  • All summer programs or camps are required to collect prior-to-arrival test results from all participants. The prior-to-arrival test must be a negative PCR result taken within 72 hours of the start of the camp or program. Additional details are on the Carolina Together website.
  • In addition, overnight or residential programs are limited to participants 18 years old or over. Day camps or programs with participants 17 years old and under will be allowed on-campus provided their safety proposal is reviewed and approved by the Provost.
  • Overnight or residential camps or programs, which are only available for participants 18 years old and over, should detail in their proposal to the Provost how they will comply with additional safety guidelines outlined on the Carolina Together website.

There will be classes and camps on campus this summer, but activity will continue to be at a reduced level.


Based on the guidance of our experts, we are planning for a Fall 2021 semester that will be a more typical residential academic experience at Carolina, with the goal of a full return to in-person instruction, still with many safety precautions in place.

The Fall 2021 course schedule will be available to view in ConnectCarolina on Monday, April 26. We will update information throughout the summer as faculty members continue to plan for their Fall 2021 courses. Registration appointments for Fall 2021 will begin Tuesday, June 1, for 8th semester Undergraduate students as well as Professional and graduate degree-seeking students. For Undergraduates, registration appointments continue on a rolling basis by term in residence through Friday, June 11, and will remain open until Friday, July 9, at 5 p.m. EST. For detailed registration and add/drop details, please refer to the Registrar calendar.

Later in April, we hope to announce an exact date for when we will resume a more typical on-campus work environment. It is very likely that we will ask employees to return to campus midsummer, in advance of the start of the fall semester. We are continuing to consult with the UNC System, our public health & infectious disease experts, Orange County Health Department and campus leadership and advisory committees to help inform that decision. We know that this uncertainty can be challenging, particularly for those with childcare and other family considerations. We will offer as much advance notice as possible to aid in the transition.

As we head into the summer and fall, we are building on the success of the last three months. Our asymptomatic positivity rate has remained below one percent. We’ve had our lowest numbers of students in quarantine and isolation since the pandemic began. Our students have followed the COVID-19 Community Standards with decreased reports of violations. Likewise, infection rates among employees working on campus have remained very low, even as the number of employees on campus has increased. Like every success at Carolina, we have accomplished this because we have worked as a community together. Thank you for your commitment to the safety of our community and for your flexibility in the days and months ahead.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost