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Carolina to Sharply Cut Operations

Many of Carolina’s buildings will be closed and in-person, non-essential services will be suspended effective at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20. (File photo)

The UNC System on Tuesday directed all 17 system institutions to significantly reduce operations due to the threat from the COVID-19 virus.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread across our country, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the way we are conducting daily life in order to slow the spread of the virus. The situation is evolving quickly,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz wrote in a message to the campus community. “Protecting the health, safety and well-being of our campus community is our first priority; and secondly, we need to provide the best possible student experience that we can under the circumstances.”

Many of Carolina’s buildings will be closed and in-person, non-essential services will be suspended effective at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20. Exceptions will be made for a small number of emergency staff, administrators and researchers, as well as for students who are granted special circumstances waivers to remain in campus residence halls.

Residence halls, including Granville Towers, will close to the majority of students and will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, with few exceptions.

Carolina currently is operating under an extended spring break. Students still on campus are encouraged to begin moving out as soon as possible.

A schedule for those now away from campus who need to complete their move-out will be made available soon. Those who need to remain due to special circumstances will be able to apply for a waiver. Waivers will only be granted to those residents who complete an appropriate health screening and clearly establish that no other practical alternative is available.

Dining services will be limited to takeout.

The University will make accommodations for quarantine and isolation if directed by a health care provider — only for remaining residential students who have been granted a waiver to live on campus or students who live off campus and use Campus Health as their primary health care provider. Campus Health will remain open.

Facilities that support academic and recreational pursuits will be closed, including the libraries, Carolina Union and Student Stores.

All study abroad programs scheduled to begin through July 1 already were canceled, and now UNC is canceling all spring semester international programs throughout the world. The directive does not apply to graduate and professional students who are abroad at research or practice sites, or are conducting other individual activities, such as dissertation or thesis research.

Remote instruction is expected to commence, as planned, on March 23. The University estimates that 95 percent of courses will be ready to be taught remotely on that date. Faculty will confirm details for specific course remote instruction. Students are to contact instructors with questions.

Decisions regarding potential refunds for housing or dining fees will be made by the UNC System after the universities are beyond the immediate challenges being faced during the spread of COVID-19.

Faculty are urged to teach online classes from off campus. Graduate students and postdocs whose work can be conducted remotely are encouraged to use telework options.

The University plans to keep critical research operations (as determined by the vice chancellor for research), labs and related facilities operational until further notice.

University employees who are sick due to symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19 or who are caring for a dependent with such symptoms will receive paid administrative leave for any time lost through March 31.

No decision has been made about the status of spring Commencement.


 

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