As an unusual fall semester begins its finish, UNC continues to reveal more plans for the spring 2021 semester.
The university released dates for five Carolina Student Wellness Days during the upcoming semester, which will be granted to aid students to provide respite during a semester with no traditional spring break period. UNC said faculty will be instructed to “avoid scheduling exams, quizzes and other major assignments” to students on February 15-16, March 11-12 and April 5.
The university also will have off Friday, April 2, as a university holiday.
UNC had previously announced a revised spring 2021 calendar in October, revealing plans to start the semester later than usual on January 19. University leadership also said change to the traditional spring break period was made to “limit any potential spread of the virus caused by travel during an extended break.”
UNC also recently revealed plans to have a limited student body back on campus. Officials expressed hope to bring back approximately 3,500 students to live in residence halls and Granville Towers during the spring semester, an increase from the 1,500 that have lived in the buildings since most of the student body left campus after several COVID-19 clusters appearing in August.
In October, #UNC announced a revised calendar for the spring semester that moved away from a traditional spring break to providing five wellness days spread across the semester. Those dates, announced today, are important breaks for the campus community: https://t.co/44tj1pXq2k pic.twitter.com/bq0MJah1hV
— UNC-Chapel Hill (@UNC) November 5, 2020
With final fall exams on November 24, the university also urged students to be cautious of preventing potential coronavirus exposure if leaving Chapel Hill. Ahead of a long winter break, university officials will extend hours for students to receive free COVID-19 tests in an effort to limit any spread caused by students traveling.
A message to the campus community on Thursday said students who are asymptomatic and are not considered a close contact to a positive individual can visit the Carolina Union for testing. Hours will be extended during the week of November 16, with free saliva-based testing for all on or off-campus students available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The university said symptomatic individuals and close contacts of positive cases should contact Campus Health separately to get tested.
“Taking a COVID-19 test is an important step in protecting your family and friends who you may be reunited with over the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Campus Health Director Ken Pittman in UNC’s message. “As you prepare to leave your residence halls, apartments and homes in town at the end of the semester, please make a plan to reduce your risk of being exposed to COVID-19 during the 14 days before you travel, monitor for symptoms and get tested before you leave.”
More information about UNC’s COVID-19 testing efforts for the campus community can be found on the Campus Health website.
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