Email sent 8/3/21
Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree has been anything but easy since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We recognize and appreciate that your educational experience since March 2020 has likely not been what you anticipated. We are pleased to say that at UNC Greensboro we will be providing an experience for the Fall 2021 semester that looks much more like life on campus before COVID.
We anticipate a thriving campus, with many classes offered in person, a wide variety of opportunities for in-person activities, and a full schedule of intercollegiate athletic events. With that said, the health and safety of our students remains our priority, and we will continue to require some protective measures. Our COVID management team will continue to monitor case rates locally and statewide and communicate any changes in protocols should conditions change. Our COVID website is still the best resource for all updates and resources related to the pandemic.
After consultation with public health experts, UNC System colleagues, and the senior leadership team, Shield Our Spartans guidelines will include the following elements for the remainder of the summer and through the fall semester.
Vaccination is the single most effective tool we have in fighting the pandemic. If you have not yet been vaccinated, UNCG strongly encourages you to do so. The vaccines currently available provide strong protection against becoming severely ill, being hospitalized, or dying because of the virus. Students can get a vaccine at Student Health Services or many other community locations for free.
New Vaccine Incentive:
Every UNCG student who is enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester and submits proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination by Monday, August 23 will receive $50 in Flex on their Spartan Cards. You can submit your vaccination proof via the Student Health Services Patient Portal. Upload instructions are also provided.
We know getting shots can be stressful or cause anxiety for some individuals. If you need support to get your vaccination, let us know, and we will help.
Effective Monday, August 2, UNC Greensboro began requiring face coverings to be worn in all indoor settings and facilities, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice. Consistent with our policy during the Fall ‘20 and Spring ‘21 semesters, face coverings must be worn indoors at all times unless 1) eating or drinking; or 2) in a private office space or other work space where 6 feet of distance from others can be maintained. Residential students should follow the policy set by Housing and Residence Life when inside University residence halls. Face coverings remain optional when outdoors, but are recommended at outdoor gatherings where maintaining social distance is not possible.
Due to the current rates of infection in Guilford County, and based on additional recommendations from Guilford County Public Health and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, this is a necessary step to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.
One of the challenging issues related to COVID-19 is the development of variants of the virus. Currently, the Delta variant is proving to be more easily spread than previous variants, both among unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. Given the changing nature of the virus and its impact, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community and communicate changes to our protocols as needed.
Symptom Monitoring and Health Hygiene
Members of the UNCG community should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. If you feel ill, stay home and contact your health provider. Continue to wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Student Health Services will continue to provide testing for symptomatic students and students identified as close contacts. Housing and Residence Life will require residential students who have not submitted evidence of vaccination to provide evidence of a negative test prior to move-in and to participate in mandatory, random surveillance testing. The University will continue to provide weekly testing for students and employees at no cost.
Contact Tracing and Case Management
UNCG students should continue to complete the Self-Report form if they develop symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. The University will continue to conduct contact tracing, provide isolation and quarantine spaces for residential students if needed, provide case management for students and employees (e.g., track isolation and quarantine timelines, provide documentation when individuals are released from isolation or quarantine, assist with communication with supervisors and instructors if needed), and update the COVID-19 dashboard. Individuals who test positive should follow isolation protocols and individuals who are identified as close contacts should follow quarantine protocols as instructed by the case management team.
Flexibility will remain a key part of our ability to move through the new academic year and shield our Spartans. A few important points to keep in mind:
- It will be critically important for all members of our community to pay attention to University communications. Updates will be sent using a combination of methods, including email, the UNCG Mobile App, and social media. The COVID-19 website and dashboard will be updated to continually reflect current policy, protocols, and case counts.
- Should infection rates drop and public health officials determine that it is safe for us to make face coverings optional in some settings, we will move in that direction if possible.
Thank you for your continued support and efforts to Shield Our Spartans. If you have questions, please submit them to our COVID-19 question portal.