Dear Carolina Community,
We hope that the spring semester is starting off well for you. In the last two weeks, we have shared a lot of information about the requirements and operations of the University. Today, we are sharing the latest numbers from our testing program as well as a few reminders on booster shots, testing and what to do if you test positive. Dr. Amir Barzin has answered 10 questions in this video about the omicron variant, testing requirements and the importance of vaccines.
We are starting the semester with a positivity rate of 10.47% at the CTTP and 35.5% at Campus Health over the last seven days. This is similar to what is happening across our country and state, which has had a 31.2% positivity rate during the same time period. The cases that Campus Health sees continue to have mild to moderate symptoms, and the Carolina community continues to follow our COVID-19 Community Standards and CDC guidelines for isolation. We will update the Carolina Together dashboard daily, Monday through Friday.
To be clear — the best tool against COVID-19 and the omicron variant is being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination. This means being fully vaccinated AND getting your booster (five months after Pfizer and Moderna and two months after Johnson & Johnson). Our community did a great job letting us know when you became fully vaccinated, and now we’ve updated the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification form so let us know when you get your booster.
Asymptomatic and symptomatic testing
Last week we announced that asymptomatic testing for faculty, staff and students at the Carolina Together Testing Program will be available by appointments only via HallPass. This is an important change because it’s clear that asymptomatic testing has limited utility given the short incubation period and high transmission rate with the omicron variant. Symptomatic testing continues to be available at Campus Health for students. Faculty and staff should continue to seek symptomatic testing through their health care provider. All students should report positive results from off-campus testing or at-home tests to Campus Health.
Please note the CTTP center will be closed on Monday, January 17, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and will reopen the following morning. Campus Health will be open on Monday, January 17, and can provide testing for students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
If you test positive or have symptoms, it’s important that you isolate. Here are some guidelines on what to do:
For employees, if you are a healthcare worker and test positive or exhibit symptoms, please contact Occupational Health and Safety. If you are a non-healthcare employee and test positive, you should report it using the COVID-19 Wellness Check online application instead of contacting UEOHC directly. Regardless of your vaccination status, please remain at home for five days if asymptomatic. If you are symptomatic, remain at home for at least five days or until your symptoms improve. The EHS website has more information on what to do if you test positive.
Again, all students should report positive results from off-campus testing or at-home tests to Campus Health. Residential students who test positive can isolate at home (strongly preferred) or in their residence hall room (only leaving for food pick-up and medical care while wearing a mask). Detailed isolation information for students can be found on the Campus Health website.
We know that the news and updates of the virus can be overwhelming at times. We appreciate your continued commitment to taking care of yourselves and each other during these stressful times.
The Carolina Together Testing Program Team