UNC student says he’s moving home, others react to 4th COVID-19 cluster in 3 days

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — UNC-Chapel Hill students were caught on camera on a slip and slide, playing volleyball and gathering in groups without face coverings outside of Hinton James Residence Hall Saturday night.

Just 24 hours later school leaders reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the dorm. A cluster is five or more cases in a dwelling.

It’s the fourth cluster reported at UNC in the week students returned to campus.

One student who lives in Hinton James has decided to move back home.

“For the sake of my own personal health I’m going back home. Everybody wants to be here but there’s a select few that don’t follow the rules, they jeopardize the rest of us and caused the outbreaks here, so it sucks,” said DJ Murphy, a freshman.

Calleigh Miller and her roommate Ashleigh Kiger just moved in to Hinton James. They’ve been told the students affected are isolating and that cleaning procedures will increase in the dorm but they plan to stay put in their room to keep safe.

UNC students on a slip and slide on Saturday during a rain storm. Photo contributed to CBS 17.

“I just think there’s a time for going out and now is not really that time and I think we need to keep our circles small for now,” said Miller.

“I mean it definitely is unsettling but I know, like, the other dorms have already had a lot of cases so I feel like at this point we were kind of just waiting for it,” said Kiger.

A student who lives one dorm over gets her mail and packages at Hinton James. She worries about exposure and is now considering off-campus housing.

“You really just have to stay in your room now you really can’t even trust your friends or who they’ve been around. It’s just really scary,” said Talia Hood-Boatwright, a sophomore.

Faculty Chair Mimi Chapman penned two letters to the chairman and UNC board of governors. She’s asking for more campus-based authority regarding the schools pandemic response.

“Well it’s distressing. We certainly knew there would be cases on campus but clusters is different,” said Chapman.

Chapman is leading a special meeting with school leaders Monday afternoon to address the spread and prevent similar situations in the future.

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