UNC students start fall classes amid pandemic, voice concerns about social distancing enforcement

COVID-19 and schools

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday, students at UNC-Chapel Hill started their first day of classes on a campus that was noticeably less crowded than previous years.

Due to the pandemic, most of the classes at UNC are online this year, however, some classes are in-person.

A majority of the students could be seen wearing face masks as they went to and from class on Monday.

Throughout campus, there are multiple signs reminding people to stay six feet apart, wear a mask, and wash their hands.

“It’s definitely different than I expected coming in as a freshman,” said Aadil Mehasanewala, a student at UNC. “Before I would have expected all my classes to be in person, but I think they’re making the most of the situation right now.”

UNC Freshman Carlos Ramireddy attended his first in-person class Monday morning and he said the university made sure they kept everyone six feet apart in the classroom.

“There was only 12 people in there and it was a pretty large classroom,” Ramireddy said. “Every hallway had hand sanitizing stations and everyone was wearing face masks in the classroom.”

But a concerned student sent CBS 17 a video of one of the dining halls. The student said the hall was too crowded and that university officials need to do more to enforce social distancing.

According to UNC’s Carolina Together website, the University is only allowing one person at each table and everyone is required to stay six feet apart in the dining hall at all times.

UNC officials got back with CBS 17 late Monday and said that they do have Carolina Dining Services managers monitoring the dining halls reminding them to physical distance. Officials said the dining service managers have reported no major issues with students adhering to the Community Standards in dining halls.

Freshman Emily Cuvvage said overall she feels safe but she wishes the University would require students get tested for COVID-19.

“I think that would be smart,” Cuvvage said. “I guess we can’t really tell what’s going to happen with the COVID-19 numbers.”

UNC officials have previously said that they are not testing everyone for COVD-19 because the CDC is not recommending widespread testing. Instead, officials said the CDC is recommending they take preventative measures which include physical distancing and wearing a mask.

For more information on the preventative measures, UNC-CH is taking or to submit a question or concern, go to their Carolina Together website here.

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