With thanks to all of our students, their families, our faculty and staff, and our partners and neighbors in the community, the Fall semester at UNCG has concluded as safely and successfully as possible. Our ability at UNCG to maintain our operations and manage through over three months of rigorous, meaningful academic work during this pandemic is a credit to your collective effort, focus, and willingness to adapt. Now as we look ahead toward our holiday season operations and our return to campus in January, we want to provide some key updates on recent state and national policy decisions so that we continue to be consistent and adhere to all relevant standards and protocols.
CDC Quarantine Guidance Change
You may have seen that the CDC issued new guidance giving public health officials options to shorten the quarantine period in certain circumstances. Currently, NC DHHS and Guilford County Public Health have not adopted the new guidance across the board, and are only allowing shortened quarantine periods after consultation and in specific situations (e.g., for front-line health workers). We will continue to monitor the guidance relative to quarantine and let our campus community know should any changes be made that directly impact us.
Modified Stay-at-Home Order
Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 181 went into effect on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 and will remain in effect until Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. The Order extended the following requirements regarding wearing of face coverings previously issued:
- Face coverings must be worn indoors if anyone else is in that space who is not a member of the same household.
- Face coverings must be worn outdoors if it is not possible to consistently be physically distant by more than six feet from non-household members. People must wear face coverings while exercising if they are either outdoors and within six feet of someone who does not reside in the exercising person’s household, or indoors and not within their own home.
- All workers and guests of fitness and physical activity facilities must wear face coverings when they are inside the establishment, regardless of whether they are exercising. There are a few specific guidelines related to competing collegiate athletes which will be managed by UNCG Athletics leadership and our coaching staff.
The Order also included additional measures intended to slow the spread of the virus given the high number of cases in NC:
- Stay-at-Home for High-Risk Individuals: High-risk individuals (those over age 65 or any person with serious underlying medical conditions) are strongly encouraged to stay at home and travel only for essential purposes.
- Business Nighttime Closure: Certain categories of businesses and facilities must close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (nighttime closure requirement). Examples include bars, fitness facilities, meeting spaces, museums, and restaurants.
- Alcohol Sales: Alcohol sales for on-site consumption are prohibited from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Nighttime Events: Events or convenings outside the home must end by 10 p.m. and all guests must leave and travel home. Professional and collegiate sports events may continue past 10 p.m.
- Nighttime Travel Restrictions (“Curfew”): Except for limited exceptions, a statewide curfew is imposed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (exceptions to the curfew include: professional and collegiate sports events; religious services; law enforcement and other first responders; travel for required work; obtaining groceries, medical care, fuel, health care supplies, and taking care of a family member, friend, or pet)
UNCG’s COVID-19 policies and procedures are consistent with the requirements issued in the Executive Order. We will continue to monitor changes or additions to COVID-related requirements throughout the winter break, and will notify campus in early January of any changes to policy or procedure that may become necessary.
UNCG is in ongoing conversations with public health officials about our role in the vaccine distribution process and how it impacts our community. We will continue to update you as we learn more about both process and timeline. We recommend that you visit NC DHHS to learn more about our state’s plan to protect North Carolinians from COVID-19.
Updates for Spring Semester
We are in the process of updating the UNCG COVID-19 website to include a new tab for Spring 2021, implementing a new system that will automatically update the COVID-19 case dashboard, and will soon update the Return to Work Manual, Workplace Safety During COVID-19, the FAQs page. We will also update related videos and graphics as needed. Details on these changes and updates will be forthcoming upon our return to campus in the Spring.
Ongoing Data Monitoring
We will continue monitoring our campus data and trends in the larger community closely because we know conditions can change rapidly. During the holiday break, we can expect to see these numbers decline significantly because we measure primarily cases with direct impacts to campus. However, for all who are still here (students and employees), please continue to follow relevant self-reporting processes.
We cannot become complacent about this during the holidays and must continue to ensure that we are aware of any cases and any risks to our campus. As we have 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 for the Spring, 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.