UNC-Chapel Hill moves to online-only instruction as COVID-19 positivity rate spikes


People remove belongings on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The UNC system announced Tuesday that it would be instructing students to return to their permanent address unless granted an exception to remain in university housing due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (NewsNation) — In-person undergraduate classes at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will move online following an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate from 2.8% to 13.6% at Campus Health in the last week, the university announced Monday.

As of Monday morning, UNC-CH tested 954 students and has 177 in isolation and 349 in quarantine, both on and off campus.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz told NewsNation affiliate WNCN the remote-learning change goes into effect Wednesday.

“Since launching the Roadmap for Fall 2020, we have emphasized that if we were faced with the need to change plans – take an off-ramp – we would not hesitate to do so, but we have not taken this decision lightly,” Guskiewicz said.

Graduate, professional and health affairs courses will continue to be taught as they are, or as directed by the schools.

Guskiewicz said the school expects the majority of undergraduates to change their residential plans for the remainder of the semester.

“Residents who have hardships (such as lack of access to reliable internet access), international students or student athletes will have the option to remain,” the chancellor said.

The University announced four clusters of the virus among students within three days.

WCNC contributed to this report

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