Education

New UNC-CH dashboard shows more than 100 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since March

Posted August 2, 2020 12:15 a.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2020 4:20 p.m. EDT

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched a coronavirus dashboard to keep the college community updated on data related to the coronavirus. On the resource, students can see how much personal protective equipment is available and how many positive identified cases of the coronavirus there are in the community.

For some students living on campus, this resource has showed them that coming back to campus just might not be worth it.

As of Saturday, more than 100 students tested positive for coronavirus since March. A total of 10% of student tests have come back positive, the dashboard shows.

With students prepared to move in dorms starting Monday, some wonder if returning to campus right now is worth it.

"It's just beyond disappointing for me at this moment," said student Greear Webb.

The university is not planning on testing every student before their return to campus. A statement from the school said that is not recommended by the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.

"The CDC does not recommend widespread, asymptomatic testing, and instead recommends that all individuals take preventative measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus," a statement from the school's website said. "This is consistent with the advice of our own infectious disease and public health faculty experts.”

Webb said he was looking forward to the on-campus experience at UNC. All of his classes are online this year because he said he doesn’t feel comfortable returning to campus right now.

"At this point, we're talking about life-or-death situation, and we don't want students to be the guinea pigs here," Webb said.

For students planning to live on campus, 96.5% of isolation housing is currently available for those who tested positive or presumed to have the virus based on symptoms. There are 93.7% of quarantine housing currently available for those who have been exposed to the virus but not yet diagnosed.

The statement also said that students who need to quarantine and isolate would get care from Campus Health and guidance on where they can safely do so.

Those who live off campus may not need to leave their homes, so long as they have their own bedroom and own bathroom. Where that is not an option, on-campus isolation housing is an option.

"It's unsafe for our students and our staff and faculty to return to campus in any in-person capacity," said student Lamar Richards.

Richards drafted an emergency resolution condemning the university’s response to the virus. Students say they want to see widespread testing and all-remote learning.

"I do foresee us going into some type of total shutdown of campus, like we did in the spring," Webb said, "so these universities can protect themselves from lawsuits or whatever comes."

Saturday night, UNC Associate Director of Media Relations Leslie Minton pointed to the school's website for more details and issued a statement from the school.

The school said on the website that the dashboard will help the university make decisions based off of their coronavirus responsible.

The first day of classes for UNC students is August 10.

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