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Spring 2021 COVID Testing Requirements

Dear Students,

Welcome to 2021! We wanted to be sure that all Spring Semester COVID testing expectations are clear.

  1. Monday, January 4, 2021:
    1. All SON students in clinical courses and those who will be on campus for any reason begin the SON COVID DAILY Symptom Tracker.
  2. All students, regardless of academic program, must go to Connect Carolina and complete two items on January 6, 2021:
    1. Update the physical address where you are living and provide cell phone number for the spring semester in Connect Carolina here
    2. Complete the COVID-19 Student Acknowledgement here.
  3. Five days before arrival to campus:
    1. Do COVID test and upload results to Connect Carolina.
    2. For example, do COVID test on January 6 if you will be on campus beginning January 11; there is not a single date that applies to all UG students. This is schedule dependent.
    3. This includes teaching assistants and teaching fellows.
  4. For graduate students in clinical courses who live at a distance from the Chapel Hill area and will not physically be on campus this semester for any reason:
    1. You must begin COVID DAILY symptom tracking via:
      1. SON COVID Daily Symptom Tracker on January 4
      2. and COVID Symptom tracking per clinical agency requirements.
  5. Students who have a positive result from the SON Daily Symptom Tracker will be contacted by Assistant Dean Kathy Moore at
  6. Any student who incurs an exposure must contact Assistant Dean Kathy Moore.

Update from UNC Provost Bob Blouin and Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. Posted Tuesday, October 27th at 11:00am. 

Dear Carolina community,

We previously announced that our academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester will begin January 19 and end with commencement on May 16 (please note that the schedules for professional schools may vary). Today we are providing important updates on modes of academic instruction, on-campus housing and COVID-19 testing. These decisions are guided by feedback from recent student surveys, as well as from several groups including the Campus and Community Advisory Committee, the Roadmap Implementation Team, student and faculty advisory groups and the advice of our public health and medical content experts, state and Orange County health departments and the UNC System.

The upcoming spring semester will continue to be a different experience for the Carolina community. But we have learned important lessons from our experiences and those of our peer universities. We have listened very carefully to the opinions and advice offered by our students, faculty and other key constituencies. Through that feedback, we know it will be important to continue to provide flexibility and options to ensure a quality Carolina experience. We will welcome students back to live and learn on campus, although residential life will be reduced with only single occupancy rooms while faculty will be preparing for both in-person and remote courses built around the guidelines below.

We have asked the deans to provide faculty with the following modes of instruction and guidelines so that we can offer a combination of in-person and remote classes this spring. Information about the mode of each course will be available for students on ConnectCarolina at the beginning of November. Registration appointments for Spring 2021 semester begin November 30 and continue on a rolling basis until December 10, when registration will be open for all students through January 25.

  • We will offer five modes of instruction for the spring: two in-person modes and three remote modes of synchronous and asynchronous learning. The deans are working with their respective schools and departments to identify courses which benefit from in-person instructional modes.
  • The majority of classes with 35 or more students will be assigned one of the three remote-only options. However, we will be able to accommodate a limited number of courses with up to 50 students for in-person modes of delivery based on the needs of the course.
  • Generally, priority for in-person courses will be given to classes designed to allow first-year students to explore a discipline, classes designed to provide seniors opportunities to enroll in capstones, seminars, and specialized topics and classes at any level that especially benefit from hands-on, in-person instruction.

Our decisions on in-person and remote courses for the spring are fundamentally linked with our choices regarding on-campus residency and testing. This fall, the campus has remained open for approximately 1,500 students who have been living and learning on campus. Based on our experiences during this semester, we have made two important decisions to best position campus for a successful spring semester.

  • First, we are planning to offer only single occupancy for on-campus housing and will expand our quarantine and isolation spaces, ensuring that we are providing appropriate care and support resources in those locations, in compliance with public health guidelines. We anticipate housing around 3,500 students on-campus and in Granville Towers – an increase of approximately 2,000 students from our current on-campus residential population. By October 27, Carolina Housing will send information to all current residents and those who previously held housing contracts.
  • Second, there will be mandatory re-entry and regular COVID-19 evaluation testing for students, faculty and staff for spring semester, based on the success of the prospective evaluation testing for students that we are currently conducting at the Carolina Union. We are still actively evaluating options for frequency, administration and processing of the tests. We will share more details with you in the coming weeks.

This virus continues to impact the lives of everyone in our community in so many ways. We will continue to monitor its path over the coming months, and the compounding effect of the annual flu season, as we finalize plans for the spring semester. We are prepared to modify our approach in order to support our community based upon the prevailing trends. We will continue to work closely with our campus partners to discuss and communicate any additional changes or accommodations given the circumstances we may be facing in early to mid-January.

We understand the stress this uncertainty creates and will communicate with our University community and neighbors as frequently as needed to ensure we have a successful end to this semester, and a safe and effective start to the next. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to our students’ success and the health and safety of our entire community.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Bob Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

This message is sponsored by: Office of the Chancellor

Last updated Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 12:35 pm EST. 

  • For the latest information for SON students, faculty and staff, click here.
  • For the latest information on UNC’s operations and policies, click here.
    • For the UNC COVID-19 Hub, with academic, financial, and wellness resources provided by UNC, click here.
    • For the latest UNC travel policies and restrictions, click here.
    • For the latest SON travel policies and restrictions for all but BSN/ABSN students, click here.
    • For the latest policies on research involving human subjects, click here.
    • For the latest updates from UNC-CH and the NIH for UNC Researchers regarding COVID-19, click here.
  • For prevention recommendations and global news, visit the CDC website here.
  • For North Carolina resources and news, visit the UNC Health Sciences Library website here.
  • For an extensive list of free goods and services for frontline responders, see this site

We are closely monitoring COVID-19 and will keep this page updated with the latest news and information as it pertains to the SON community. Please check back often.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The CDC recommends following the same guidelines as flu prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For refreshers, watch our SON Hand Washing Skills and Standard Precautions videos.

What to Do if You Are Sick

According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • a general feeling of being unwell

The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. The illness can be more serious for individuals with a weakened immune system, the elderly, or those with underlying respiratory problems. It could result in bronchitis and pneumonia.

Anyone who has returned from an affected region within the past 14 days and is sick with fever and a cough, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care immediately and call ahead to the doctor’s office to inform them of recent travel and symptoms. Students with symptoms should call Campus Health at 919-966-6603 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 919-966-6573 (Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.); faculty or staff can call the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 919-966-9119 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or your healthcare provider.