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By Olivia Fey
In an email sent out by UNC Charlotte on July 29, students were informed of updated COVID-19 plans for the fall 2021 semester.
These new guidelines include face-covering requirements in all indoor facilities, which will apply to all students and faculty regardless of vaccination status beginning on August 2. In their messaging, the university cited recommendations from the CDC based on rising COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County.
The face covering requirement includes:
The only exemption from this requirement are when students are in their personal residence hall rooms and when employees are in their offices.
The guidelines backtrack from the university’s earlier summer COVID-19 protocols, which did not require masks indoors for fully-vaccinated students.
UNC Charlotte’s University Recreation Center also released an announcement on Thursday informing students that they are now required to wear masks within the facility. However, these mandatory face covering requirements will not alter the school’s plans to deliver majority face-to-face instruction. Additionally, the university plans to return to full capacity and operations in the fall, including:
These updates came shortly after a COVID-19 cluster was identified on July 19 through the Niner Health Check, including five students residing both on and off campus.
In order to be exempt from university testing, students must complete the school's COVID-19 reporting form. Vaccinated students who fill out the form have the chance to win prizes such as a free parking permit for the academic year or $500 added to their 49er ID card. Vaccinated students will also be exempt from completing the university’s daily Niner Health Checks and random mitigation testing.
Along with UNC Charlotte, all UNC System schools have issued similar mask requirements following Governor Roy Cooper's recent announcement that requires masks to be worn in all school facilities regardless of vaccination status. North Carolina will remain under the state of emergency that has been in place since March 2020.
Updated news about what to expect for fall 2021 in terms of safety protocol will be announced by UNC Charlotte leadership on Wednesday, August 4. ●
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