Will Other UNC System Schools Follow UNC-Chapel Hill's Sudden Move Online?

Aug 18, 2020

The Coker Arboretum in Chapel Hill. Reporting methods are inconsistent between the 17 UNC system schools. Will the surge at the flagship campus prompt changes on other campuses?
Credit Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

A week after students returned for a combination of in-person and online classes, leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill moved to fully online learning in response to a surge of COVID-19 on campus. The positive testing rate among students rose from 2.8% in the week of Aug. 3 to Aug. 9 to 13.6% in the week of Aug. 10 to Aug. 16. 130 positive cases were reported during that period.

Host Frank Stasio talks about how the sudden decision is affecting students at UNC system’s flagship campus with Praveena Somasundaram, a senior writer for The Daily Tar Heel. Blue Ridge Public Radio reporter Lilly Knoepp also joins the program to discuss differences in testing rates and resources between the flagship campus and UNC system schools in the Western part of the state.

As of Tuesday morning, most campuses are reporting fewer than 10 active or recent cases of COVID-19. The exceptions are UNC Pembroke, with 25 active student cases; East Carolina University with 29 positive student health cases last week; and Appalachian State University with 47 active student cases. However, not all UNC System schools report the same way, and several schools say they are only counting cases caught at Student Health Services.