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UNCW notified students Tuesday of a plan to move all residential students to single occupancy rooms.
The decision was made in cooperation with the New Hanover County Health Department, according to the university’s announcement. Most of the new cases in the county are 18-to-24-year-olds, and that age group makes up 33.5% of total cases, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Since July 2020, the university has reported 246 positive COVID-19 cases and five clusters in its residence halls. A cluster is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are close in proximity with each other.
Of the 3,600 students currently living in residence halls, about 800 are expected to be affected by the plan to de-densify the university’s campus. Over half of the students on campus are already living in single-occupancy rooms.
Roommates have the option to decide who will move to a new room. If they do not respond with their decision by September 10th, the university will randomly choose one of them to move out. Students also have the option to move back home and receive a housing refund.
Under recommendation by the New Hanover County Health Department, students will not be allowed to move to off-campus housing unless they will be living with their parents or guardians.
In the announcement, the university stated:
“We are all living in unprecedented times, and we appreciate the flexibility and patience of the Seahawk community as we make necessary changes.”
UNCW is the fourth UNC system school to alter their plan for student housing in response to outbreaks of COVID-19, joining the likes of UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, and ECU. ●
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