Faced with a surge in COVID-19 cases, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Sullivan Foundation partner school, will shift to remote learning for undergraduates starting Wednesday, Aug. 19, following a brief attempt to hold traditional in-person classes.

UNC welcomed students back to the residence halls two weeks ago and held its first day of in-person classes one week ago. “In just the past week (Aug. 10-16), we have seen [the] COVID-19 positivity rate rise from 2.8 percent to 13.6 percent at Campus Health,” said Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost Robert A. Blouin in a message on the UNC website.

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“As of this morning, we have tested 954 students and have 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus. So far, we have been fortunate that most students who have tested positive have demonstrated mild symptoms.”

The university officials said the shift to remote learning will apply to all undergraduate classes. “Courses in our graduate, professional and health affairs schools will continue to be taught as they are, or as directed by the schools,” the letter noted. “Academic advising and academic support services will be available online. Our research enterprise will remain unchanged.”

“We knew this would be a Carolina fall like no other, and with our residence halls at less than 60 percent capacity and less than 30 percent of our total classroom seats taught in person, we certainly began [the semester] with a very different feel,” Guskiewicz and Blouin noted in the letter.

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