COVID-19 Update: Increasing testing for unvaccinated students

Students sitting on steps at Wilson library
Midday scene on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. August 16, 2021. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

Welcome back to campus! We are encouraged that our COVID-19 Community Standards are being followed. Together, we are using a layered approach focused primarily on vaccines, masking and testing to help keep our community safe. This approach allows us to remain flexible and to monitor conditions to make changes as needed. With the ongoing rise in positive rates across our state, now is the time to make one important change.

Effective Monday, August 23, students who have not attested they are vaccinated will be tested twice a week as part of the Carolina Together Testing Program. We will monitor this expansion of the testing requirement through September 15 to assess its effectiveness. If you are unvaccinated, have chosen not to provide your information or have yet to respond in ConnectCarolina you will be subject to this updated requirement in HallPass.

As of today, 87% of our students have attested they are fully vaccinated. This is great progress. Thank you for taking this important step to keep yourself and those around you safe.

To be exempt from the Carolina Together Testing Program, get fully vaccinated and update your status in ConnectCarolina.

We want to remind you of some additional COVID-19 related information as we begin the semester:

  • Get Vaccinated — If you are not yet vaccinated, now is the time to do it. The vaccines are free, safe and effective. You can find information on where to find a vaccine on the Carolina Together website.
  • Wear a Mask — Masks are required for all members of the Carolina community while indoors on campus, with limited exceptions. Masks are also required indoors throughout Chapel Hill and Orange County. Additionally, we strongly encourage all community members to wear a mask outdoors while at large gatherings or in congested areas.
  • Carolina Together Testing Program — Free, asymptomatic testing is always available for all members of the Carolina community through the Carolina Together Testing Program. Sign in to the HallPass web application before your initial visit and to access test results.
  • Remember, effective September 15 unvaccinated faculty and staff will be tested once weekly. To avoid this requirement, get fully vaccinated and update your status online.
  • Symptomatic or Contact Tracing Testing — If you are experiencing symptoms or are identified as a close contact, do not go to a CTTP location. Students can access testing at Campus Health. Employees should contact their medical provider or a local, community testing location.
  • Contact Tracing — The University continues to conduct contact tracing in coordination with the Orange County Health Department. Participation in contact tracing is a requirement of the University’s community standards. You will be contacted directly if someone near you tests positive for COVID-19 and given instructions specific to your vaccination status.
  • Quarantine or Isolation — The Carolina Together website has information about quarantine, isolation and when to get tested if you have symptoms. If you are vaccinated, you will most likely not be directed to quarantine for an asymptomatic exposure, but if you test positive you will be directed to isolate. If you are unvaccinated, more information is available on the Campus Health and Carolina Together websites. The isolation period is mandatory and required under the COVID-19 Community Standards.

Everyone on our campus is either vaccinated or will be regularly tested, and we are all wearing a mask indoors. By increasing the frequency of testing for students, we will be able to more closely monitor and limit any spread of the virus over the coming weeks.

Thank you again for all you are doing to help keep Carolina and our community safe.


The Carolina Together Testing Program Team

This message is sponsored by: Carolina Together Testing Program