• 45°

UNC-Chapel Hill sees two COVID outbreaks in reopened dorms

By BRYAN ANDERSON

Associated Press/Report for America

RALEIGH — School is back in session this week at many North Carolina college campuses, and so is the coronavirus.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced on Friday it had two separate clusters of COVID-19 occur among residents of Ehringhaus Community and Granville Towers.

At least five students in each area tested positive for the virus after being in close proximity with their peers, according to UNC.
“The individuals in these clusters have been identified and are isolating and receiving medical monitoring,” the university said in an email to students, faculty and staff. “We have also notified the Orange County Health Department and are working with them to identify additional potential exposures.”
UNC said those with a fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches or a cough, should immediately contact their medical provider or Campus Health.
News of the outbreak comes as the school works to shut down campus parties and mass gatherings of students. Fall classes resumed at UNC on Monday, with students beginning to move into their residence halls on Aug. 3.
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has long defended the fall reopening, insisting the university has the capacity to bring students back to campus safely through its mask wearing requirements and testing and contact tracing capacity.
But he has also said the plans rely on students following public health guidelines. He told The Washington Post on Tuesday that three students were kicked out of campus housing because they did not adhere to safety standards.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a former Chapel Hill student and self-proclaimed “die-hard” Tar Heels fan, told reporters on Thursday that he would be too busy dealing with the pandemic to attend a UNC football game this year. While he didn’t comment directly on whether he’d feel safe bringing his family to a game and sitting in the stands alongside other fans, he did express concerns about large gatherings on college campuses.
“Having a lot of people in one place can cause a super-spreader event,” he said.
UNC isn’t the only campus with safety concerns.
East Carolina University shut down several parties during its opening weekend, including a mass gathering of about 400 people.
Many colleges in the state, such as ECU and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, plan to offer weekly updates on the number of students who test positive for the virus.
___
Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.
___
Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Comments

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Education

East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation