From bad to worse to grim: only one week into the fall 2020 semester, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced that it will move all undergraduate classes online — starting Wednesday.
Amid rising pressures — and positive COVID-19 case rates — UNC announced the decision Monday afternoon in an email.
According to the Daily Tar Heel, the COVID-19 positivity rate rose from 2.8 to 13.6 percent over the course of a week. There are currently 177 UNC students in isolation and 349 students in quarantine; space continues to dwindle to dangerous levels at the university’s designated quarantine residence hall, too.
BREAKING: One week into the semester, UNC-Chapel Hill announces that it is transitioning all undergraduate classes to fully online instruction, effective Wednesday.
Story to come. Check this thread soon.
— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) August 17, 2020
Following consultations with local and state health officials, UNC is making efforts to de-densify its campus, too.
This week alone the university reported 135 new positive cases, including 130 students.
❗️@UNC has updated their Coronavirus Dashboard. The numbers are bleak.
-135 new positive cases
-130 new STUDENT positive cases
-5 new EMPLOYEE positive cases
-13.6% positive test rate
-Quarantine room capacity at 5.5%
These are only REPORTED positives. pic.twitter.com/zEQ9j7Th2c
— James Sadler (@sadlerja) August 17, 2020
Going back to late last week, North Carolina has reported clusters of cases at four different locations, including three residence halls: Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers. Another cluster took place at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, which is located off campus.
While it’s not the most important topic to consider, these developments could certainly negatively impact a fall sports season that’s struggled to get off the ground — highlighted by misadventures specific to football.
Against backdrop of UM scrimmage today, NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline tells CNN today: "If testing stays as it is, there's no way we could go forward with sports.The pathway to play sports is so exceedingly narrow right now. Everything would have to line up perfectly"
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 16, 2020