Monday afternoon officials announced that UNC would remove to remote learning after the Covid-19 positivity rate spiked from 2.8% to 13.6% over the past week. Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced the decision via a statement on the university’s website.
Effective Wednesday, August 19, all undergraduate in-person instruction will shift to remote learning. Courses in our graduate, professional and health affairs schools will continue to be taught as they are, or as directed by the schools. Academic advising and academic support services will be available online. Our research enterprise will remain unchanged.
Due to this announcement as well as the reduction of campus activities, we expect the majority of our current undergraduate residential students to change their residential plans for the fall. We are working with the UNC System office to identify the most effective way to further achieve de-densification of our residential halls and our campus facilities.
So what does this mean for football? For now, the Tar Heels are moving forward with business as usual. Residents who have hardships (such as lack of access to reliable internet access), international students or student athletes will have the option to remain.
“We still are expecting to play this fall,” Carolina athletics said in a statement. “And we will continue to evaluate the situation in coordination with the University, the ACC, state and local officials, and health officials. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and community remains out priority.”
This news put a season already clouded in uncertainty in further question. Less students on campus means a lessor chance for future outbreaks, but as schools around the country start classes, one has to think that more institutions will be forced to make the same decision. It’s going to be hard to justify athletes remaining on campus, simply for sports, when it’s been deemed an unsafe environment for the rest of the student population.
As of this morning, UNC tested 954 students and have 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus.