One Week Into Semester, UNC Chapel Hill Switches to Fully Online (Updated)

One week into the semester, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill administration reversed its decision to open its campus for teaching and housing, and moved all instruction online, owing to its inability to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus among the student population.

The university says that 954 students had been tested as of this morning, with 177 students testing positive for COVID-19. Nearly 350 other students had been quarantined because of possible exposure to it. The school has about 20,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate students.

[Still of recent video of UNC Chapel Hill students socializing without masks or distancing. From the News & Observer.]

The Washington Post reports: “The remote-teaching order for undergraduate classes will take effect Wednesday, and the university will take steps to allow students to leave campus housing without financial penalty if they wish.”

More details here and here.

UNC Chapel Hill will likely not be the only university to switch to remote instruction and send students home over the coming month.

UPDATE: A colleague of mine at the University of South Carolina notes that when UNC Chapel Hill’s fall 2020 term began last week, the percentage of tested students with positive results for the coronavirus was less than 3%. The corresponding rate at the University of South Carolina, where classes begin later this week, is 3.9%.

UPDATE (8/18/20): The University of Notre Dame announces: “in-person classes for the University’s nearly 12,000 students are suspended, effective Wednesday, replaced by remote instruction only for the next two weeks because positive rates for the coronavirus continue to climb.” (via Curtis Franks)

UPDATE (8/31/20): Notre Dame will resume in-person teaching (via Curtis Franks).

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