October 23, 2020
Dear UNCG Community,
As you likely know, trends across North Carolina and nationally are indicating an increase in positive COVID-19 tests and hospitalizations. On Monday, Governor Cooper announced that the state will remain paused in Phase 3 as we continue to work together to slow the spread. On our campus, we must remain vigilant and adhere strictly to our guidelines.
Meetings and New CDC Guidelines
As Chancellor Gilliam indicated in his recent message, we will maintain our strict limitations on indoor and outdoor events as previously communicated (10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors for social gatherings, not including activities related to instruction or those otherwise regulated by specific guidelines in the governor’s executive orders). We strongly recommend faculty and staff limit in-person meetings as much as practicable when appropriate social distancing is not possible, which is often the case in small offices or conference rooms.
New guidelines from the CDC also indicate that multiple, brief interactions (even less than 15 minutes each) over a 24 hour period during which there is less than 6 ft of distance increase the risk of exposure and should be identified as close contact. This highlights the importance of being diligent about social distancing in all circumstances, as multiple close but brief interactions can add up over time. Wear your face covering at all times (even during one-on-one meetings) when indoors, unless you are alone in a private, enclosed space.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Call your personal health care provider or Student Health Services to ask if you need to be tested. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, complete the self-reporting form.
As you likely know, we have been conducting more testing on campus and we will continue to expand those efforts. We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to take advantage of free testing opportunities. Having some insight into your status can be helpful, and our ability to catch any asymptomatic cases early has a direct, positive impact on our community health efforts. There are also multiple opportunities to get tested in the community.
Additionally, as we head toward Halloween and into the holiday season, it is important to recognize increasing evidence that home gatherings are contributing to ongoing COVID-19 spread. Please be especially aware of your activities during this festive time, focus on adhering to safety standards, and remember that the decisions made at off-campus events can directly impact our ability to maintain on-campus operations for the remainder of the semester. Weekend visits to parents or other loved ones have resulted in several COVID-19 cases among the Spartan community. If you are planning trips home over the next several weeks, check with your family members before you go. If they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please reevaluate your plans.
It is a challenging time. We have one month left in the semester and hope that, by continuing to work together, we can complete the semester as planned. However, we are watching our campus data and trends in the larger community closely, because we know conditions can change rapidly. Right now, our numbers are manageable, and we are executing our plans effectively, thanks to our supportive community. As we’ve said before, if data, including metrics like multiple clusters, indicates we should change plans and move instruction to an online-only environment, or make other operational or academic adjustments, we will do so without hesitation and communicate our plans quickly.
For the most up-to-date information, please monitor your email frequently, regularly visit the UNCG COVID-19 website, follow our @uncg social media channels, and download the UNCG Mobile app from the Google or iTunes app store to receive push notifications directly to your phone.