UNC-Chapel Hill students move into dorms amid COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 and schools

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday morning, students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started moving back in to dorms for the fall semester.

The move back to campus comes as the number of COVID-19 cases remain high in the state.

According to data from state health officials, there were 1,313 new cases reported on Monday and the number of COVID-19 related deaths is now at a total 1,982.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

UNC officials said they are taking the necessary preventative measures to keep students safe on campus.

University housekeeping staff are performing enhanced cleaning and disinfection of “high touch” areas, common areas, and restrooms throughout the day.

When students return to class next week, they can expect to find reconfigured classrooms where students will be sitting at least six feet apart.

The university has also created a dashboard website where the campus community can find out how many students and employees have tested positive for COVID-19. As of Monday evening, 175 people on campus have tested positive for COVID-19 since March.

CBS 17 spoke to some students on Monday who said they were eager to return to campus.

Nicole Osborne, a UNC sophomore, is from near the Outer Banks. She said she feels safe coming back.

“I do feel safe because they have the mask regulation and they have sanitization stations around campus,” Osborne said.

Emma Sayers, a UNC junior, is moving from New Jersey and said she is glad they decided to allow students to live on campus.

Sayers said she feels the university is taking all of the necessary preventative measures.

“I’m not scared at all,” Sayers said. “I just think that if all the students do their part, I think that we should be able to stay on campus. That would be ideal for us.”

Emily Gafcovich, a UNC junior, is from Florida. She said she is looking forward to attending class in person as well as living on campus.

“It gives you an opportunity to do a work-study program and I think the safety measures they’re taking are good enough for people to come back on campus,” Gafcovich said. “As long as I follow all of the guidelines and do my part to stay safe, I think I’ll be OK.”

University officials said even though they are operating their dorms at normal occupancy, UNC is expecting a 30 percent reduction in students living in on-campus housing. So officials said they do not expect the dorms to be at full capacity.

For more information on how the university is taking steps to keep students safe go to the University’s Carolina Together website at https://carolinatogether.unc.edu/.

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