On Friday afternoon, Governor Cooper announced that, effective immediately, maintaining social distance and wearing face coverings are no longer required in most public settings. Face coverings remain required while using public transportation, in childcare settings, in schools, in long-term care facilities, and in healthcare settings. Many private businesses also have decided to continue to require face coverings in their facilities.
University campuses have several unique aspects that have made the management of COVID-19 challenging. For instance, we hold face-to-face classes with large groups of students, and we have congregate living (residence halls) and dining facilities. We are currently holding our first session of summer classes, some of which are face-to-face and designed around the COVID-19 protocols in place prior to Friday. Instructors who agreed to teach, and students who registered to take these classes, did so with the understanding that policies regarding face coverings and social distancing would be in effect.
In addition, we are anticipating more detailed guidance for college and university settings from both the CDC and state and local public health agencies in the coming weeks. As has been the pattern, changes in guidelines for the general community were announced first, to be followed by information about how the guidance should be applied to and/or adapted for unique environments.
Given these circumstances, we will adapt the Governor’s order to our unique campus and contractual circumstances. We believe that adapting the Governor’s order to our particular circumstances will provide the greatest level of protection to our faculty, students, staff, and visitors, and allow us time to assess the impact of various efforts to maintain a safe environment. To this end, we will maintain the following practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus through mid-June:
- Face coverings will continue to be required when inside University facilities.
- Individuals should continue to be respectful of others and maintain social distance.
- If you develop COVID-like symptoms, do not attend campus activities or report to the workplace.
- Complete the self-report form and get tested, regardless of vaccination status.
- If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, complete the self-report form, and we will give you guidance about whether or not you should get tested and/or quarantine.
Current guidelines related to meetings, gatherings, and performances will remain in place as well:
- Meeting, performance, and conference spaces should continue to use the guidance found in Executive Order 209.
- Outdoor gatherings on campus should be limited to 200.
- We are currently assessing the guidelines as they apply to the Kaplan Center for Wellness; any changes that may be made will be announced directly by Kaplan staff.
One change in our COVID-19 protocols will take place immediately:
- Face coverings are no longer required when outdoors. They are still recommended in gatherings where maintaining social distance isn’t possible.
We will update our campus community as we learn more over the coming weeks, and we ask for your continued cooperation and patience as we adapt to our ever-changing environment. For additional information, forms, FAQs, testing clinics, and other information, visit https://covid.uncg.edu/.