Deadline approaching for UNC-CH staff, faculty to get vaccinated or start weekly testing

Coronavirus

CHAPEL HILL N.C. (WNCN) – Monday is the deadline for faculty and staff at UNC-Chapel Hill to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or start weekly testing through the Carolina Together Testing Program.

According to the campus COVID-19 dashboard, 87 percent of all UNC-Chapel Hill employees have said they’re vaccinated, while 93 percent of students report having gotten the shot.

Unvaccinated students have been tested twice a week since Aug. 23.

The deadline for employees has been pushed back twice, first from Sept. 15 to Oct.1, and now until Oct. 4.

Clinical assistant professor Yuliana Rodriquez said she chose to get vaccinated for both her family and students.

“I’m in the classroom and I have a lot of students with me that I’m working with, and so I want to keep them safe,” Rodriquez said.

Rodriguez said she believes weekly testing for unvaccinated employees will make the campus safer.

“I think a lot of people are very nervous and anxious about being back in the classroom, especially faculty, and older faculty,” Rodriguez said. “I think they’re doing a fantastic job of making sure that people are getting tested.”

Over the past week, 43 students and 12 faculty have tested positive for the virus.

Freshmen Emily O’Briant and Caroline Gillis are among the 7 percent of unvaccinated students required to test twice a week.  

“It’s convenient because you can do it whenever you’re on that side of campus, I don’t see it as that big of a deal,” O’Briant said. “I like the choice of doing that or getting vaccinated.”

“Everyone should have their own freedom whether they want to get vaccinated or not. That is everyone’s personal choice,” Gillis said. “But I do feel that whatever standard students are held to, faculty should also be held to.”

If employees do not follow the COVID-19 vaccine or testing program, the UNC-Chapel Hill website said they face “discipline,” but it’s not specific as for what that discipline will be.

Starting Friday through Nov. 26, there will be weekly prize drawings for students and employees who have completed the vaccination form.

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