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COVID-19 Update: Employee CTTP participation, reduced student testing requirement and COVID-19 booster vaccines

Woman reading book outside on campus.
A students studies on Polk Place on August 26, 2021, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

Your commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 is working. The numbers continue to trend in an expected and encouraging way, so thank you for doing your part. Between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, we have these reassuring numbers to report:

  • We saw a decrease in the asymptomatic positivity rate to 0.44%, down from 0.54% last week.
  • The symptomatic positivity rate is 2.5%, down from 3.3% last week.
  • The testing volume remains stable, with an average of 4,389 tests per week over the past 4 weeks.

Most of the positive student cases we have identified in our community experience relatively mild, cold-like symptoms. Campus Health has not received any reports of student hospitalizations due to COVID-19 this semester. We continue to recommend that vaccinated individuals test no more than one time each week.

We also continue to encourage all unvaccinated members of our community to get a COVID-19 vaccine. It is not too late!

NEW: Reduced Testing for Students who have not Attested to Vaccination
Because of the continued positive trends, we are reducing mandatory testing for unvaccinated students to one time per week. If your vaccination status has changed, let us know and you will be exempt from weekly testing.

Unvaccinated Employee COVID-19 Testing Requirement
Beginning this week, employees who have not attested to being vaccinated started testing once each week at the Carolina Together Testing Program. If you have been vaccinated, please let us know and you will be exempt from testing.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccines
The CDC has approved COVID-19 booster vaccinations for adults with underlying medical conditions and those living in high-risk settings. Students at Carolina who live in a residence hall and/or have an underlying medical condition and received their second Pfizer vaccination at least 6 months ago are eligible to receive a booster at the Carolina Vaccination Clinic, the Student Stores Pharmacy or one of the following COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Clinics:

  • Oct. 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Koury Seminar Wing
  • Oct. 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Carmichael Maker Space

Faculty and Staff who meet the CDC criteria for COVID-19 booster vaccines may visit their personal health care provider or find a vaccination location by visiting the NCDHHS portal. Employees who are patients of UNC Health may learn more and schedule a booster vaccine in their COVID-19 vaccine portal.

Get Your Flu Shot
Being vaccinated against influenza will help reduce the overall burden of respiratory diseases and help conserve health care resources. If you do not obtain your flu vaccination on campus but obtain one through your primary care provider or at a community pharmacy or clinic, you can still self-report compliance.

Thank you, Carolina, for your continued adherence to COVID-19 Community Standards. The effort is working; we are finding ways to experience the vibrancy of Carolina and keep each other safe.

Sincerely,

The Carolina Together Testing Team