UNC students rush to move out after shift to virtual learning; no classes Monday, Tuesday

COVID-19 and schools

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students are tasked with moving out of the dorms by Aug. 30.

There have been six clusters reported in the last week at three on-campus dorms, an off-campus dorm, and two fraternity houses.

The University moved all undergraduate classes online on Wednesday and told students earlier this week they had to be moved out of the dorms by Aug. 30.

The University said Thursday night that it would cancel classes for Monday and Tuesday “to give students time to move their belongings, catch their breath and make this transition in as equitable a way as possible.”

The news release also said the deadline for students to drop classes would be extended until Aug. 31.

UNC sophomore Sirina Goolbis moved out of Morrison Hall right after the University reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases there on Wednesday.

“I’m scared I’m going to contract it, so I’m trying to leave as fast as possible,” Goolbis said.

Goolbis said she felt rushed to get everything moved out on Thursday before her virtual class at 2 p.m.

“It’s kind of hard having to move out and we still have classes going on right now,” Goolbis said. “I just wish there was a little bit more of accommodation to us.”

While 2,565 UNC students have made appointments to move out, more than 500 students are still stuck in isolation or quarantine after they contracted the virus or were exposed to it.

UNC Junior Chloe Kent is in quarantine at Craige North Hall after coming down with a fever, chills, and body aches over the weekend. She got tested for COVID-19 and went into quarantine on Sunday. As of Thursday, she is still waiting for her test results.

Kent argues that this could have been prevented if the University had reduced the number of students living in the dorms. She said she is concerned that sending everyone home is not the best thing.

“I am pretty upset with how the University handled these things,” Kent said. “They’ve taken students from all over North Carolina and congregated them into one extremely high density place. They’ve let us mingle and start to get sick. Now they are sending us home to our families who may be at risk. People are going to die from this.”

UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz sent the following message to the UNC student community on Wednesday:

“Our highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of all members of the campus community. By working to de-densify our campus, we can help to mitigate the spread of the virus.”

The Carolina Housing website has more information on the move-out process.

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