The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is among the many college campuses that moved to return to normal opening amid the pandemic. Now, officials at the institution are reversing course after a massive spike in COVID-19 cases were reported.
Local publication The News & The Observer reports that UNC-Chapel Hill reported 130 new cases this week, bringing the total count to 324 positive cases since last February. Starting Wednesday (August 19), all undergraduate classes will move to a remote platform after clusters of cases appeared in dorm rooms, an apartment, and a fraternity house on campus.
“As of this morning, we have tested 954 students (last week) and have 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus,” both Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Bob Blouin said in a Monday (August 17) press statement. “So far, we have been fortunate that most students who have tested positive have demonstrated mild symptoms.”
The UNC-Chapel Hill Law School is also moving to remote instruction after posting a statement via its Twitter account.
“In response to increased COVID-19 cases at UNC-Chapel Hill, Carolina Law will shift to all remote instruction as of Wednesday, August 19. We feel that under these circumstances, it is the best decision for our community,” the tweet read.
As the nation struggles to return to business as usual despite the uncertainty of the times and the impending flu season, UNC-Chapel Hill’s decision could have an immediate impact on other colleges and universities who rely on the student body’s tuition and presence to remain a viable presence in the waning economy.
The publication added in its reporting that N.C. Public Service Workers Union’s UE Local 150 chapter blasted UNC-Chapel-Hill in a statement, essentially calling the school’s decision to reopen a money grab.