Many near UNC seen wearing masks, socially distancing amid crackdown effort

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — The Saturday night before classes start at UNC-Chapel Hill, some people were seen hitting the town, many of them in face masks and socially distanced.

“The more research you do, the more concerned you get. So, I just want to keep everyone safe and I think just wearing a mask really isn’t that much to ask,” said Sarah Haurey,a freshman at UNC.

It’s a stark contrast to a recently surfaced video of dozens of women walking in a group reportedly after a sorority event without face coverings.

Chapel Hill and UNC Police since have stepped up patrols, saying they are prepared to issue citations to anyone who violates pandemic guidelines. The misdemeanor could lead to a $1,000 fine and up to two months in jail.

“We realized that we needed to do more than just educate and we needed to step up our efforts,” said Pam Hemminger, the Chapel Hill mayor.

Students say their peers are now listening to the warnings, too.

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“I think especially the frats, too, they’re trying to do a good job of limiting how many people are in the house and everything,” said Josh Caponigro, a UNC freshman.

The students say only time will tell if people continue to follow the guidelines but they say it’s important that they do.

“We all want to be able to stay on campus as long as we can — we don’t wanna get kicked out because people are being reckless,” said Cassie Pamperin, an incoming UNC freshman.

Classes will resume for UNC students on Monday.

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