Students concerned after COVID-19 clusters confirmed at UNC housing

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Concerns are growing among students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after officials confirmed clusters of COVID-19 at two different dormitories Friday.

Officials said that clusters of COVID-19 had been confirmed at Ehringhaus Residence Hall on campus and Granville Towers, which is a private dorm off campus.

The alert sent out to students Friday afternoon did not say how many confirmed cases of COVID-19 there were at each dorm.

However, a cluster is at least five cases reported within a 14-day period that are likely linked to each other.

All of the students who have tested positive for the virus have been isolated and contact tracers are reaching out to people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Students who live at Ehringhaus told CBS 17 that they are very concerned by the news of the COVID-19 clusters in their dorms.

“Everyone’s really freaking out right now,” said Lily Rosenberg, a freshman who lives in Ehringhaus. “It definitely became much more real when we realized it was probably in a floor close to us and that people around us had it.”

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Sydney Kroll told CBS 17 she was not surprised to hear about it after seeing large groups of people gather off campus for parties.

“The way the last two weeks have been going, it was bound to happen,” Kroll said.

University officials said they cannot release a lot of information about the COVID-19 cases due to privacy laws. However, Kroll and Rosenburg said that they wish the university would at least tell them on which floor the students live on who have tested positive.

“I think the university needs to have more clear communication with us about where in our building it is so we can protect ourselves,” Rosenberg said.

In late July, the Orange County Health Department did recommend the university hold all classes online for at least the first five weeks of the semester and only allow students with true housing needs to stay on campus.

However, the UNC did not take those recommendations.

UNC officials said they had implemented all of the necessary safety measures to keep students safe and that they were well prepared for the start of the fall semester.

UNC sent out a release late Friday that said they will be having a special called virtual meeting on Monday.

More headlines from CBS17.com:

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