UNC-Chapel Hill will test unvaccinated students twice weekly, university announces

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will now be tested twice weekly, according to a release from the Carolina Together Testing Program.

Effective Aug. 23, students who have not attested they are vaccinated against the virus will be tested twice a week as part of the university’s testing program. It had been announced earlier this month that unvaccinated students and faculty would be tested once per week.

As of Thursday, 87-percent of UNC-Chapel Hill students are fully vaccinated.

The twice-weekly testing will last through at least Sept. 15, at which point the university will “assess its effectiveness” before determining if the new testing standards will continue.

“Together, we are using a layered approach focused primarily on vaccines, masking and testing to help keep our community safe. This approach allows us to remain flexible and to monitor conditions to make changes as needed. With the ongoing rise in positive rates across our state, now is the time to make one important change,” the release said.

To be exempt from the school’s testing program, students must be fully vaccinated and update their status in ConnectCarolina. If a student is unvaccinated, has chosen not to provide their information or has yet to respond in ConnectCarolina they will be subject to this updated requirement in HallPass.

In addition to requiring vaccinations in order to avoid testing, UNC is also requiring all students and staff to wear masks while indoors on campus. Masks are also required indoors throughout Chapel Hill and Orange County.

While not required, the university “strongly encourage[s] all community members to wear a mask outdoors while at large gatherings or congested areas.”

Neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the entire 16-campus UNC System has officially mandated that students and staff get vaccinated against COVID-19, but system-wide testing guidelines are in place for those who have not received the shot.

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