1,400 UNC students moving into campus this week, despite delay of in-person classes

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Even though the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is delaying undergrad in-person classes until February, university officials said 1,422 students still plan to move back to campus this week.

The university announced last week that classes would start online on Jan. 19 but that in-person classes would be delayed until Feb. 8 due to the recent high number of COVID-19 cases.

University officials said they gave students the option to still move in this coming week or to delay their move-in date until closer to February.

As of Monday evening, university leaders said only 71 students have notified them that they plan to delay their move-in date.

UNC freshman D.J. Murphy, from Wallace, said he still plans to move in to the Hinton James dorm this Saturday.

“I don’t really feel a difference in waiting three weeks,” Murphy said. “As long as I maintain my distance, wash my hands frequently and wear my mask, I should be fine.”

Murphy said he doesn’t think there will be clusters of COVID-19 this semester because this time around UNC is testing students before they come back to campus.

“If everyone follow the rules, I feel like we’ll be in great shape,” Murphy said.

UNC officials said they are taking all possible measures to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down.

For instance, only about 60 percent of the students who lived on campus last semester will be coming back, only 20 percent of the classes will be in person, and the university’s testing program will require students get tested throughout the year.

UNC freshman Jasmine Baker said she caught COVID-19 last August at Granville Towers, which is located off campus.

Despite the safety measures that are in place, she does not want to take any chances.

“It just scares me thinking another outbreak could happen with the same group of people,” Baker said. “I just can’t move back again, that was a lot to deal with, so I think it’s better safe than sorry.”

Students will start moving in on Wednesday.

The Carolina Testing Program at the university started on Monday and officials said they completed more than 600 COVID-19 tests.

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