Some North Carolina colleges plan to require students to show a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to campus after their winter break.
At the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors meeting last week, President Peter Hans said schools will do re-entry testing or require students to show a negative test before they can return for the spring semester.
The News & Observer reports that Hans also sent a letter to chancellors on Nov. 2 suggesting strategies for the end of the fall semester and spring, including re-entry and surveillance testing. Those efforts are intended to keep students and employees safe and keep universities running this spring without serious spikes in cases and disruptions.
None of the universities in the UNC System required students or employees to be tested for COVID-19 before coming to campus in the fall. While many offered ongoing surveillance testing throughout the semester, it was mostly voluntary.
UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and East Carolina University each had to send students home, close dorms and move classes online because of spikes in coronavirus cases in August. Now, each is requiring students to get tested for COVID-19 at the start of the spring semester.
“This is a fluid process, we’re all learning and changing as we need to,” ECU Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said. “And it takes everybody.”