Campus Emails

Update: Oct. 12, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please join us today from 12- 1 pm via Zoom for another virtual drop-in conversation about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines as we continue our campus community conversation series.

The following representatives will be present at Monday’s conversation: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel.

Regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Oct. 6, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

A reminder that all employees, regardless of vaccination status, are welcome and encouraged to participate in surveillance testing on campus. This week, testing will be offered for all employees tomorrow, Thursday, October 7, from 12 – 2 p.m. in Brown Hall, Rooms 218/219 (lower level).

The COVID-19 vaccination and booster clinic at the Reuter Center is open to everyone, no appointment needed. Vaccinations will be available each weekend in October.  November dates will be added if there is adequate demand.

  • Fridays in October: 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.

  • Saturdays and Sundays in October: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We are seeking 5 volunteers for the vaccination and booster clinic on Sundays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. help with breakdown each week at the Reuter Center. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lyndi Hewitt at lhewitt@unca.edu.

Our COVID-19 Campus Community Conversation series continues next week with a virtual drop-in session on Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 12 – 1 p.m. via Zoom. We look forward to connecting with you!

Regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 29, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff,

We are pleased to continue our strong partnership with MAHEC to help protect Western North Carolina from COVID-19, this time joining forces with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Starting this Friday, October 1st, UNC Asheville, MAHEC and FEMA will operate a walk-in COVID-19 immunization site and booster clinic at the UNC Asheville Reuter Center located on 1 Campus View Road in Asheville.

Vaccinations will be available at the Reuter Center on weekends in October.  November dates will be added if there is adequate demand.

  • Fridays in October: 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Saturdays and Sundays in October: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

No appointments are required to enter the site. All three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) will be available for those seeking their first or second dose.

Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots will also be available for individuals who meet the eligibility criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC’s recommendations apply only to individuals who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.

According to the CDC, the following individuals should get a booster shot:

The following individuals may consider getting a booster shot after discussing the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider:

  • people 18–49 years of age with certain underlying medical conditions

  • people 18–64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting

  • people 18–64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting, including if you work in a high-risk profession, meaning you come into contact with a lot of people, and you don’t know their vaccination status; for example, health care workers, first responders, teachers, food processing workers, retail and restaurant workers, and public transportation workers. The group also includes individuals who live or work in a place where many people live together; for example, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, migrant farm housing, dormitories or other group living settings in colleges or universities.

People can self-attest that they are in one of these groups. Proof is not needed.

Currently, booster doses are not available for those who received Moderna or J&J vaccines, but may be in the future pending FDA approval and CDC recommendations.

Regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 27, 2021

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Thanks to those who attended our in-person drop-in session today. We’ll continue to offer these once per week in varying modalities, so stay tuned for information on future gatherings.

We’ve heard some questions about the regular COVID-19 testing offered on campus, so we wanted to take a moment to address those. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Testing is currently offered twice per week for all employees, regardless of vaccination status, as long as they are NOT experiencing symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home and connect with an off-campus health provider for testing. Click HERE for more details on surveillance vs. diagnostic testing.

  • While employees who have not confirmed their vaccination are expected to participate in regular testing, all employees are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this resource.

  • The tests offered on campus are saliva PCR tests. Results are available within 24-48 hours and are emailed directly to the employee.

  • This week’s testing slots are as follows:

    • Tuesday, September 28, 12-2pm in Brown 217

    • Thursday, September 30, 12-2pm in Laurel Forum (Karpen 139)

Wishing you all a good week. As always, thank you for your contributions to a safe and healthy campus.

Warm Regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 23, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please join us on Monday, September 27 from 12 – 1 pm for an in-person drop-in campus community conversation in the breezeway outside the main entrance to Phillips Hall. Light refreshments will be available. This conversation about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines is part of our ongoing campus community conversation series.

The following representatives will be present at Monday’s conversation: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel.

Warm Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 23, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

If you missed these two additional resources related to our campus COVID-19 guidelines shared in Tuesday’s tip, please find the flowcharts attached to this email and available under Health and Safety Guidance on coronavirus.unca.edu.

The COVID-19 Symptom & Exposure flowchart is a reference to determine next steps if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty who have students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 can use the Faculty in the Classroom flowchart for next steps.

Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 21, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Today’s tip includes a reminder and a new resource related to our campus COVID-19 guidelines. The reminder is that all employees, regardless of vaccination status, are welcome and encouraged to participate in surveillance testing on campus. This week, testing will be offered for all employees in the Laurel Forum (main floor of Karpen Hall) next Tuesday (9/21) and Thursday (9/23) from noon until 2:00 p.m.

Two additional resources related to our campus COVID-19 guidelines are now available on coronavirus.unca.edu. The COVID-19 Symptom & Exposure flowchart is a reference to determine next steps if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Faculty who have students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 can use the Faculty in the Classroom flowchart for next steps.

Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 17, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Many thanks to those of you who joined us for our campus community conversations over the past week. Your feedback and questions help us continue to refine UNC Asheville’s COVID protocols, as well as the ease of locating accurate information quickly.

As we hear your experiences and perspectives, we acknowledge the high levels of stress and exhaustion that all are feeling. The pandemic has taken a physical and emotional toll. While information alone cannot ease this kind of burden, our hope is that keeping the lines of communication open through multiple venues will help us all understand and appreciate one another.

Today, we have some important updates on the following topics:

  1. Confirmed Vaccinations

  2. Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

  3. Surveillance Testing for Employees and Students

  4. Student Incentives for Confirming Vaccination or Being Tested

  5. Upcoming Vaccine Clinics

  6. Virtual Drop-in Campus Community Conversation Mon. Sept. 20, 3:30-4:30 pm

Confirmed Vaccinations 

As of September 16, 2021, full vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville full-time and part-time employees is at 79%, with 80% of employees having received at least one dose. Full vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville students is now at 80%. Here are the disaggregated numbers:

  • 95% of faculty in permanent positions

  • 83% of staff in permanent positions

  • 58% of adjunct faculty

  • 53% of temporary staff

  • 93% of residential students

  • 68% of off-campus students

  • 95% of student athletes

We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Research shows that vaccination reduces the risk of transmission, severe illness, and death. Achieving the highest vaccination rate possible is one of our university’s best lines of defense against the virus.

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

At this time, our Health and Counseling Center and Human Resources staff are primarily responsible for contact tracing. The diligent, careful efforts of these trained staff ensure that close contacts are notified of exposures and also enable daily analysis of possible patterns in cases. We’re grateful to report that there are currently no known instances of workplace transmission among employees, or of classroom transmission among students and faculty. You can find the latest numbers at coronavirus.unca.edu.

Surveillance Testing for Employees and Students

Per UNC System guidance, regular testing for faculty, staff, and students who are unvaccinated or have an unverified vaccination status is now underway. Unvaccinated students and employees are being confidentially contacted by the Health and Counseling Center and Human Resources to notify them of the regular COVID-19 testing process and schedule. If preferred, unvaccinated employees may instead upload a negative test result from an outside lab. Home tests will not be accepted. For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in the area, please visit the NCDHHS Find My Testing Place website.

Verifying vaccination or committing to regular testing is a responsibility associated with employment or enrollment at UNC Asheville. Missing a testing opportunity for 2 weeks or more will be treated like any other unfulfilled responsibility. Unfulfilled responsibilities will be documented and addressed through the relevant institutional process. Students will be engaged through the Citizenship Education Process, while employees will be engaged through their supervisors, department heads, etc., in collaboration with Human Resources. Further details about these processes will be communicated directly to students and employees who are out of compliance with UNC System guidance.

Beginning next week, employees who have been vaccinated are also welcome and encouraged to participate in testing on campus. Testing will be offered for all employees in the Laurel Forum (main floor of Karpen Hall) next Tuesday (9/21) and Thursday (9/23) from noon until 2:00 p.m.

Student Incentives for Vaccination and Testing

Beginning Friday, September 24, all students who have verified vaccination OR been tested that week will be entered into a drawing for the following incentives: 1) conversion from a student parking permit to a faculty/staff parking permit for the remainder of the academic year, at no additional cost; 2) a $500 credit in flex dollars loaded to the student’s campus OneCard to be used for campus dining, books, etc. Drawings will take place every other Friday.

Upcoming Vaccine Clinics

Finally, we also want to share that UNC Asheville will partner with FEMA and MAHEC to host weekend walk-in vaccine clinics for the Asheville and Western North Carolina community starting on Friday, October 1 at the UNC Asheville Reuter Center. Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines will be offered. No registration required and operating hours will be as follows:

  • Fri. Oct. 1 from 1 – 8 pm

  • Sat. Oct. 2 from 9 am – 5 pm

  • Sun. Oct. 3 from 9 am – 5 pm

Additional details will be shared later in September.

Virtual Drop-In Campus Community Conversation 

Please join us Monday, September 20 from 3:30-4:30 pm via Zoom for another virtual drop-in conversation about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines as we continue our campus community conversation series.

The following representatives will be present at Monday’s conversation: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel.

*******

Thank you for wearing your mask consistently and correctly, for checking and attending to any symptoms on a daily basis, for committing to vaccination or regular testing, and for all that you do to ensure the health, safety, and success of our UNC Asheville community. We are in this together.

Warm regards,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing
Kortni R. Campbell, Vice Chancellor for Admission and Financial Aid
Janet Cone, Athletics Director and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and Professor of Sociology
Lakesha McDay, Director of Governmental and Community Relations
John Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance
Kirk Swenson, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Update: Sept. 16, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please join us on Monday, September 20 from 3:30-4:30 pm via Zoom for another virtual drop-in conversation about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines as we continue our campus community conversation series.

Thank you to the many faculty and staff colleagues who have joined our Campus Community Conversation series about COVID-19 guidelines. The questions, concerns and feedback raised have been incorporated into the collaborative COVID-19 work across campus in a variety of ways including discussions and clarification of processes, updates to the protocols and FAQ on coronavirus.unca.edu, and conversations about ways to improve the conversation series moving forward. We look forward to engaging in more conversations with you throughout the semester.

The following representatives will be present at Monday’s conversation: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel.

Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

 

Update: Sept. 16, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Today’s COVID-19 tip is a reminder to self-check for symptoms of COVID-19 regularly. Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms including:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms, but they are the most common. Visit the CDC website to use the CDC symptom self-check tool.

If you feel sick, please stay home and if you have symptoms, please get tested as needed.

For the latest information about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines, please visit coronavirus.unca.edu.

Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 14, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

In response to requests for more frequent communication about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines, we will begin sharing twice weekly reminders about key aspects of our guidelines as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Today we’ll focus on what to do if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, or if you’ve been exposed to COVID.

INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VACCINATED:

If you are vaccinated, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and have no COVID-19 symptoms, you do not need to isolate. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

If you are vaccinated, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and do have COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate immediately, get tested and, if the test is positive, continue isolation for a period of 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

For more information on how to protect yourself and others when you’ve been full vaccinated, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html 

If you’ve been exposed to COVID and YOU ARE UNVACCINATED. 

If you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should isolate immediately even if you do not have symptoms, get tested and, if the test is positive, continue isolation for a period of 10 days from the date you took the COVID-19 test.

For additional information or other COVID-19 healthcare questions, students should contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520. Employees should contact their healthcare provider. For more information, please review the CDC’s guidance for institutions of higher education.

What do you do if an individual in an in-person class tests positive?  

UNC Asheville will work with the Buncombe County Health Department to determine who should be contacted in the event of a positive COVID case. Contact tracing will be completed and all close contacts will be notified. The CDC defines close contacts as anyone who is within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. It is the responsibility of contact tracers to contact other individuals who may be at risk.

Faculty should not disclose the identity of any positive tests. The U.S. Department of Education clarified in their FERPA regulation that it is not appropriate to disclose the status of a student. That is part of a student’s personal information and cannot be shared in a way that identifies the student.

Faculty, staff and students can share concerns and report cases using the confidential form available on the Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 page. Please note that personal health information should remain confidential and only shared with Human Resources or the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Regards,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 13, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please join us today from 3:30-4:30 pm via Zoom for a virtual drop-in conversation about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines as part of our ongoing campus community conversation series.

The following representatives will be present at today’s conversation: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel; and Dean Tracey Rizzo.

Warmly,
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 10, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

TL;DR: The first in a series of informal conversations about COVID-19 will take place in-person as a drop-in event this Friday 12:30-2 pm with a virtual drop-in conversation on Monday 3:30-4:30 pm.

Recent virtual town halls, conversations with Faculty Senate and Staff Council, and casual conversations among colleagues have shed light on the desire for more opportunities to share and receive information and to build a greater sense of connection, appreciation and sense of community.

This week we will begin a series of campus community conversations about COVID-19 to foster greater engagement and mutual support  as we continue to navigate this very challenging time. The series will include a variety of modalities, locations, and times as we come together for conversations in more casual settings, answer questions and gather feedback related to UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 protocols. During each session, key campus leaders will be on hand to hear concerns and share relevant information based on their respective areas of expertise.

The first drop-in campus community conversation will take place on Friday, Sept. 10 from 12:30-2 pm in the breezeway outside the main entrance to Phillips Hall. Light refreshments will be available. At Friday’s conversation the following representatives will be present: Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and UNCA COVID Contact; Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing; Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Christy Williams, Director, Human Resources; and John Dougherty, Assistant General Counsel.

A virtual drop-in campus community conversation will take place on Monday, Sept. 13 from 3:30-4:30 pm via Zoom.

Additional dates, times and modalities in the campus community conversation series will be shared next week.

We look forward to seeing you this Friday!

Warmly,

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff, UNCA COVID Contact
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Sept. 3, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Thank you for attending the virtual town halls with Dr. Hodge from MAHEC this week and for sharing your questions. The FAQ on coronavirus.unca.edu has been updated in response to your questions and comments, and will continue to be updated as needed based on new guidance from the CDC, NCDHHS and the UNC System.

If you were unable to attend the town halls this week, please visit https://coronavirus.unca.edu/communications/video-messages/ to watch the recording when it is posted later today.

This COVID-19 update covers the following topics:

  • Where to find info about the University’s COVID-19 guidelines
  • Mask guidance
  • Regular COVID-19 testing
  • Confirming vaccination status
  • Reporting UNC Asheville’s percentage of vaccination confirmations

Where to find information about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines

Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for the most updated information about our campus COVID-19 guidelines including FAQs. If you have trouble finding the answer to your question, please contact Lyndi Hewitt at lhewitt@unca.edu or Sarah Broberg at sbroberg@unca.edu.

Mask Guidance

Masks continue to be required on campus for all individuals and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces, except in personal offices or living spaces. Please wear appropriate, safe face coverings consistently and correctly over both mouth and nose.

Appropriate/best masks: KN95, N95, or cloth masks that are at least 2-ply like the ones distributed by UNCA all meet appropriate standards. Surgical-type masks are also good, but as is the case with all masks, care should be taken to ensure that there is good coverage around the nose and mouth.

Correcting masking: All community members are expected to adhere to masking protocols. When students do not wear masks or are not wearing them across both their nose and mouth, please remind them of the expectation.

  1. If someone does not have a mask remind them that we do have face coverings available.

  2. If they refuse to wear a mask or refuse to wear it properly, you may ask that person to leave your class.

  3. Some have asked what to do about students who seem unable or unwilling to wear their mask properly. We do hope that there is a way to engage students with a combination of compassion–to try to help the student understand how critical it is that we all adhere to these guidelines–but also firmness, that failure to follow will lead to consequences.

  4. If they refuse to leave, you have the option of cancelling the class.

  5. The student should then be reported by sending an email to Melanie Fox (mrfox@unca.edu).

Regular COVID-19 Testing

Regular testing for those who are unvaccinated or have an unverified vaccination status will begin Sept. 7. Unvaccinated students and employees are being confidentially contacted by the Health and Counseling Center and Human Resources to notify them of the regular COVID-19 testing process and schedule. Multiple time slots and campus locations will be offered.

Confirming Vaccination Status

If you’ve received even one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine but have not yet uploaded documentation, please complete this short, confidential, secure form today so that your name can be removed from the list for regular testing.

For information on how to view or print your COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit the NCDHHS website. For medical or religious exemptions, please contact Human Resources at HR@unca.edu.

Reporting UNC Asheville’s Percentage of Vaccination Confirmations

Information and data about Confirmed cases of COVID-19 among UNC Asheville students and employees can be found on the Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 page on coronavirus.unca.edu.

As of today, we are reporting the percentage of confirmed vaccination statuses among students and employees. This information will be updated weekly on Friday.

We hope you all are able to take some time for well deserved rest over the long weekend. Thank you for all you do to support our students and UNC Asheville.

Warm regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, PhD
Chief of Staff | Office of the Chancellor
UNCA COVID Contact

Sarah Broberg, APR
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Aug. 27, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As we are all aware, COVID-19 remains prevalent in our region, across the nation and the world. As we continue to navigate this phase of the pandemic, we thank you for your ongoing care, compassion and commitment to the health and well-being of the UNC Asheville campus community.

Below are the main points of the information outlined in this communication:

  • Please confirm your COVID-19 vaccination status as soon as possible but no later than September 1st by completing this form. It takes less than one minute.
  • As of Aug. 25, 72% of employees and 61% of students have confirmed their vaccination status.
  • Regular testing for employees and students who have not shared verification of vaccination will begin on Sept. 7.
  • Please remember that voluntary surveillance testing is currently available for students through the Health and Counseling Center.

COVID-19 Vaccination

We are grateful to those of you who have already submitted your COVID-19 confirmation of vaccination. If you have not done so, please upload confirmation of your vaccination status as soon as possible. Achieving a high COVID-19 vaccination rate is our best defense against COVID-19 and our best hope for a return to a more normal campus experience for everyone.

As of August 25, 2021, vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville full-time and part-time employees is 72%: 88% of full-time faculty, 75% of full-time staff, 58% of adjunct faculty, and 37% of temporary employees.

Full vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville students is 61%, while 62.8% have had at least one dose. At this time over 90% of students living in our residence halls have submitted confirmation of vaccination.

It is important to note that for both students and employees, these numbers do not represent the vaccination rate on our campus, as there are likely students and employees who have been vaccinated but have not yet uploaded verification. At this time, it is accurate to say that at least 72% of employees and 61% of students have been vaccinated.

Regular COVID-19 Testing 

Students and employees who have not submitted confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination by September 1, 2021 will, per UNC System guidance, be expected to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.

UNC Asheville will partner with Sanesco, a local lab, to offer easy, drive-through, saliva testing at the Health and Counseling Center beginning Sept. 7. Each week, Sanesco will provide COVID-19 testing in the morning and late afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Unvaccinated students and employees will be confidentially contacted by the Health and Counseling Center and Human Resources, respectively, the week after Sept. 1 and prior to Sept. 7 to notify them of the regular COVID-19 testing process and schedule.

Weekly COVID-19 test results from other labs will be accepted if individuals are unable to make the weekly on-campus testing appointment. For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in the area, please visit the NCDHHS Find My Testing Place website. At home COVID-19 tests will not be accepted without verification by a PCR test.

How to Report a Positive Diagnosis or Concern

If you are a student, faculty or staff member who is diagnosed with COVID-19, please visit the Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 page on coronavirus.unca.edu to complete a confidential form to notify the University. You may also use this form to report a concern about another person related to COVID-19.

Insurance 

Employees covered by the State Health Plan or another insurance provider should bring their health insurance card when they receive their regular COVID-19 test. Students do not need to provide insurance cards for COVID-19 testing on campus, but should arrive with a valid student ID or driver’s license.

Weekly testing costs for employees who are not covered by the State Health Plan or other insurance plans will be reimbursed using HEERF funds.

Consequences for non-compliance with the vaccination or regular testing guidance from the UNC System will be outlined in a future communication.

Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for the most comprehensive, updated information about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our UNC Asheville community expectations of mutual respect and care for all.

On behalf of Senior Staff,

Lyndi Hewitt, PhD
Chief of Staff | Office of the Chancellor
UNCA COVID Contact

Sarah Broberg, APR
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

 

Update: Aug. 27, 2021

(To all students)

Dear UNC Asheville Students,

As we are all aware, COVID-19 remains prevalent in our region, across the nation and the world. As we continue to navigate this phase of the pandemic, we thank you for your ongoing care, compassion and commitment to the health and well-being of the UNC Asheville campus community.

Below are the main points of the information outlined in this communication:

  • Please confirm your COVID-19 vaccination status as soon as possible by completing this form.
  • As of Aug. 25, 72% of employees and 61% of students have confirmed their vaccination status.
  • Regular testing for unvaccinated employees and students will begin on Sept. 7.
  • Please remember that voluntary surveillance testing is currently available for students through the Health and Counseling Center.

COVID-19 Vaccination

We are grateful to those of you who have already submitted your COVID-19 confirmation of vaccination status. If you have not done so, please upload confirmation of your vaccination status as soon as possible. Achieving a high COVID-19 vaccination rate is our best defense against COVID-19 and our best hope for a return to a more normal campus experience for everyone.

As of August 25, 2021, vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville full-time and part-time employees is 72%. Full vaccination confirmation among UNC Asheville students is 61%, while 62.8% have had at least one dose. At this time over 90% of students living in our residence halls have submitted confirmation of vaccination.

It is important to note that for both students and employees, these numbers do not represent the vaccination rate on our campus, as there are likely students and employees who have been vaccinated but have not yet uploaded verification. At this time, it is accurate to say that at least 72% of employees and 61% of students have been vaccinated.

Regular COVID-19 Testing 

Students and employees who have not submitted confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination by September 1, 2021 will, per UNC System guidance, be expected to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.

UNC Asheville will partner with Sanesco, a local lab, to offer easy, drive-through, saliva testing at the Health and Counseling Center beginning Sept. 7. Each week, Sanesco will provide COVID-19 testing in the morning and late afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Unvaccinated students and employees will be confidentially contacted by the Health and Counseling Center and Human Resources, respectively, the week after Sept. 1 and prior to Sept. 7 to notify them of the regular COVID-19 testing process and schedule.

Weekly COVID-19 test results from other labs will be accepted if individuals are unable to make the weekly on-campus testing appointment. For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in the area, please visit the NCDHHS Find My Testing Place website. At home COVID-19 tests will not be accepted without verification by a PCR test.

How to Report a Positive Diagnosis or Concern

If you are a student, faculty or staff member who is diagnosed with COVID-19, please visit the Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 page on coronavirus.unca.edu to complete a confidential form to notify the University. You may also use this form to report a concern about another person related to COVID-19.

Insurance 

Students do not need to provide insurance cards for COVID-19 testing on campus, but should arrive with a valid student ID or driver’s license.

Consequences for non-compliance with the vaccination or regular testing guidance from the UNC System will be outlined in a future communication.

Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for the most comprehensive, updated information about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our UNC Asheville community expectations of mutual respect and care for all.

On behalf of Senior Staff,

Lyndi Hewitt, PhD
Chief of Staff | Office of the Chancellor
UNCA COVID Contact

Sarah Broberg, APR
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Aug. 20, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

TL;DR

  • Masks continue to be required in all indoor public spaces for faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors.
  • All full-time AND part-time faculty and staff are asked to confirm their vaccination status ASAP using this quick, easy form.
  • Please take a moment to review the University’s other COVID-19 guidelines and practices (links included below).

******************

As we finish the first week of classes of the 2021-22 academic year, we are deeply grateful for the thoughtful and conscientious ways you have contributed to all aspects of our students’ academic and co-curricular success. This includes your commitment to our UNC Asheville community expectations of mutual respect and care for all, and leading by example by following our COVID-19 guidelines.

Mask Guidelines

Masks are required on campus for all individuals and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces, except in personal offices or living spaces. Please wear face coverings consistently and correctly over both mouth and nose.

We will re-evaluate this mask requirement in two weeks for potential revision in light of available information.

Vaccination Reporting

In accordance with UNC System guidance, UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students have been asked to share confirmation of vaccination or will be expected to participate in regular testing by September 1. Achieving a high COVID-19 vaccination rate is our best defense against the virus and our best hope for a return to a more normal campus experience for everyone. We strongly encourage anyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated. 

As of August 19, 72% of full-time employees and 40% of part-time employees have uploaded verification of COVID-19 vaccination. Employees who have not yet confirmed your vaccination status, please do so as soon as possible by completing this short, confidential, secure form.

For information on how to view or print your COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit the NCDHHS website. For medical or religious exemptions, please contact Human Resources at HR@unca.edu.

Employee vaccine confirmations are stored confidentially by Human Resources. By uploading vaccine documentation in a timely way, members of the UNC Asheville community make an important contribution to the well-being of our entire campus. Having accurate data on our vaccination rate is a key step in maintaining a safe and healthy place in which to work, live, and learn.

As of August 20, 60% of UNC Asheville students have provided confirmation of their vaccination status through the student health portal.  More information is coming in each day, and we will provide another update next week.

It is important to note that for both students and employees, these numbers do not represent the vaccination rate on our campus, as there are likely students and employees who have been vaccinated but have not yet uploaded verification. At this time, it is accurate to say that at least 68% of employees (including both full-time and part-time) and 60% of students have been vaccinated.

The data collected will help inform University COVID-19 guidelines, including the details and process for regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated members of our community, as we closely monitor CDC, NCDHHS and UNC System guidance.

Regular COVID-19 Testing

Details about testing protocols for unvaccinated members of our campus community will be shared next week. For a list of COVID-19 testing sites in the area, please visit the NCDHHS Find My Testing Place website.

Other COVID-19 Guidelines

Below are a few reminders about COVID-19 guidelines and practices at UNC Asheville covering the following topics. Click on the links for details:

Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for the most comprehensive, updated information about UNC Asheville’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Thank you for your efforts to keep our UNC Asheville community healthy, safe, and thriving.

On behalf of Senior Staff,

Lyndi Hewitt, PhD
Chief of Staff | Office of the Chancellor
UNCA COVID Contact

Sarah Broberg, APR
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Aug. 11, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As communicated last week, all faculty, staff and students are being asked to provide confirmation of vaccination status or to participate in regular COVID-19 testing, per recent UNC System COVID-19 guidance. In this message, you will find key information about the following:

  • How to submit documentation of vaccination via a secure, confidential form (preferably by August 16)

  • How to find a vaccine site if needed

As has been the case throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health, safety and well-being of every member of our campus community is our top priority. The choice to get vaccinated or to take a regular COVID-19 test aligns with our UNC Asheville community expectations as we strive to return to a safe and healthy university experience for everyone.

COVID-19 Vaccination

UNC Asheville strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated if you are able. Vaccination is the scientifically-proven best defense against COVID-19 and getting vaccinated will help protect your health and the health of others. To find vaccine sites near you, please visit the website of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

All faculty and staff are asked to confidentially and securely submit confirmation of their vaccination status as soon as possible, preferably by Monday, August 16. By uploading vaccine documentation in a timely way as we begin the Fall semester, members of the UNC Asheville community make an important contribution to the well-being of our entire campus. Having accurate data on our vaccination rate is a key step in maintaining a safe and healthy place in which to work, live, and learn. Information on how to submit your confirmation is provided below. Submissions will go to Human Resources and be stored confidentially.

For information on how to view or print your COVID-19 vaccine information, please visit the NCDHHS website. For medical or religious exemptions, please contact Human Resources at HR@unca.edu.

Confirming Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status

To confirm your COVID-19 vaccination status, please complete this short, confidential, secure form. Again, submissions will go to Human Resources and be stored confidentially.

We strongly encourage you to upload confirmation of your vaccination status as soon as possible. Doing so will help us determine and share accurate information on vaccination rate with the campus more quickly.

Regular COVID-19 Testing

For faculty, staff, and students who remain unvaccinated, regular testing will be expected beginning no later than September 1. Details about testing protocols will be provided once we have accurate data on campus vaccination rate.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our University culture of care and compassion that helped us achieve the lowest prevalence of COVID-19 across the entire UNC System last academic year. Our resilience, mutual respect and care for all is the strong foundation upon which we begin the 2021-22 academic year.

Regards,

Lyndi Hewitt, PhD
Chief of Staff | Office of the Chancellor
UNCA COVID Contact

Sarah Broberg, APR
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Update: Aug. 6, 2021

(To students)

Dear UNC Asheville Students,

We are excited to welcome you back to campus as we begin the 2021-22 academic year! With move-in day is just around the corner, we write to address matters of health and safety for our campus. Here are the key points that you can read about in greater detail below:

  • In accordance with UNC System guidance, UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students will be asked to share confirmation of vaccination by September 1 or expected to participate in weekly COVID testing.

  • Detailed instructions have been shared previously about how to submit your information to the Health and Counseling Center.

  • Vaccines are always available for students at the Health and Counseling Center and vaccine events for students will be organized throughout the semester.

  • Masks will be required – effective immediately – for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces. These guidelines will be re-evaluated every 2 weeks for potential revision in light of available information about the trajectory of the virus.

  • Convocation for first year students and transfer students will be postponed to a date later in the semester. All other activities, including August Embark, will be moving forward as planned with minor adjustments that will be communicated accordingly.

  • Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for COVID-19 updates and additional guidelines for UNC Asheville.

New System Guidance

In accordance with new COVID-19 guidance just released from the UNC System, all UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students will be asked in the coming days to share confirmation of their vaccination status. You have already received instructions on how to submit this information to the Health and Counseling Center. For instructions, please contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at (828) 251-6520.

Once the data is available, the verified vaccination rate will be shared with the campus. After September 1, any member of the campus community who has not shared confirmation of vaccination by uploading their vaccine card will be expected to participate in weekly COVID testing. More details on this process will be available soon.

The UNC System guidance tracks with recent announcements from state, federal, and local authorities about mitigating the threat of COVID-19 while moving our campuses closer to normal operations. The COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to be our best weapon against the virus. Vaccines are safe, free, and highly effective in protecting against serious illness from all known variants.

To find vaccine sites near you, please visit the website of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Vaccines are always available for students at the Health and Counseling Center and we will organize vaccine events throughout the semester in the Highsmith Student Union and other high traffic areas to make vaccines as accessible as possible.

If you have questions, please contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at (828) 251-6520.

Mask Guidelines

To ensure the health and well-being of our entire campus community, effective immediately, UNC Asheville will require all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to wear masks in all indoor spaces with the exception of their own personal office and living spaces. This expectation aligns with recently revised CDC guidance.

We will reassess our COVID-19 protocols every two weeks and provide updates as needed in line with CDC and NCDHHS guidelines, as well guidance from the UNC System. As factors such as case numbers, positivity rate, and hospitalization rate hopefully decline, we look forward to revising our campus guidelines accordingly and moving toward a full, in-person campus experience for all.

Change to Convocation (for first year and transfer students)

A highlight and tradition on our campus is Convocation, the ceremony in Kimmel Arena to welcome our first year and transfer students to UNC Asheville. Out of an abundance of caution, we will postpone Convocation to a date that will be determined later in the semester. All other activities, including August Embark, will be moving forward as planned with minor adjustments that will be communicated accordingly.

This situation remains fluid. Our protocols continue to be informed by new information and a deep and abiding commitment to the holistic well-being of each student, faculty, and staff member in our community. Thank you for doing your part as we seek to return to a safe and healthy university experience for everyone.

Thank you,
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: Aug. 6, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

While there is a great sense of excitement at UNC Asheville as students begin arriving on campus and move-in day is just around the corner, we write to address matters of health and safety for our campus. Here are the key points that you can read about in greater detail below:

  • In accordance with UNC System guidance, UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students will be asked to share confirmation of vaccination by September 1 or expected to participate in weekly testing.

  • Detailed instructions will be forthcoming on how to upload vaccination cards through a secure, confidential form.

  • Masks will be required – effective immediately – for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces. These guidelines will be re-evaluated every 2 weeks for potential revision in light of available information.

  • Convocation will be postponed to a date later in the semester.

  • The Opening Faculty/Staff meeting will take place via Zoom in order to ensure the fullest possible participation.

  • Please visit www.coronavirus.unca.edu for COVID-19 updates and additional guidelines for UNC Asheville.

New System Guidance

In accordance with new COVID-19 guidance just released from the UNC System, all UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students will be asked in the coming days to share confirmation of their vaccination status. Detailed instructions for faculty and staff will be forthcoming on how to upload vaccination cards through a secure, confidential form. Students have already received instructions on how to submit their information to the Health and Counseling Center.

Once the data is available, the verified vaccination rate will be shared with the campus. After September 1, any member of the campus community who has not shared confirmation of vaccination by uploading their vaccine card will be expected to participate in weekly COVID testing. More details on this process will be available soon.

The UNC System guidance tracks with recent announcements from state, federal, and local authorities about mitigating the threat of COVID-19 while moving our campuses closer to normal operations. The COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to be our best weapon against the virus. Vaccines are safe, free, and highly effective in protecting against serious illness from all known variants.

To find vaccine sites near you, please visit the website of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS). UNC Asheville employees will be permitted time off from work to get the vaccine as well as time off the following day if needed to tend to any symptoms associated with the vaccine. See here for further details.

Meeting health and safety guidelines as well as the expectations of the UNC System is integral to our efforts to accomplish our academic mission, support academic and co-curricular success of our students, and continue continuity of employment for all employees as we strive to return to a more normal campus experience for everyone.

Students who have questions should contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at (828) 251-6520. Faculty and staff who have questions should contact Human Resources at (828) 251-6605 or HR@unca.edu.

Mask Guidelines

To ensure health and well-being of our entire campus community, effective immediately, UNC Asheville will require all individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to wear masks in all indoor spaces with the exception of their own personal office and living spaces. This expectation aligns with recently revised CDC guidance.

We will reassess our COVID-19 protocols every two weeks and provide updates as needed in line with CDC and NCDHHS guidelines, as well guidance from the UNC System. As factors such as case numbers, positivity rate, and hospitalization rate hopefully decline, we look forward to revising our campus guidelines accordingly and moving toward a full, in-person campus experience for all.

Changes to Opening Week Events

A highlight and tradition on our campus is Convocation, the ceremony in Kimmel Arena to welcome our first year and transfer students to UNC Asheville. Out of an abundance of caution, we will postpone Convocation to a date that will be determined later in the semester.

While it’s wonderful to see one another again this week in our offices and soon in classrooms and residence halls, we’ve also made the decision to shift the Opening Faculty and Staff meeting to a virtual format in order to ensure utmost accessibility and inclusivity in participation. We’ll gather via  Zoom at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, August 13. The Zoom link will be sent in an email next week.

Opening breakfast and Rockypalooza, both outdoor events, will move forward as planned.

This situation remains fluid. Our protocols continue to be informed by new information and a deep and abiding commitment to the holistic well-being of each student, faculty, and staff member in our community. Thank you for doing your part as we seek to return to a safe and healthy university experience for everyone.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing
Kortni R. Campbell, Vice Chancellor for Admission and Financial Aid
Janet Cone, Athletics Director and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and Professor of Sociology
Lakesha McDay, Director of Governmental and Community Relations
John Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance
Kirk Swenson, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
Darin Waters, Honors Director, Director for Community Engagement, and Professor of History

Update: July 27, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We write to signal our excitement about our impending return to campus and the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.

We had hoped that the pandemic would be behind us after these last sixteen months, but unfortunately we must look to balance a number of tensions related to COVID vaccinations, the Delta variant and ways to ensure the health and safety of all members of the UNC Asheville academic community.

In this message, we share the current university guidelines. Because we recognize the fluidity of the situation, we expect to release regular updates and clarifications as necessary.

While we want to reclaim our sense of community and look forward to engaging with people face to face in human connection, we are paying very close attention to the conditions that surround us: the number of COVID cases; the notable spread of the Delta variant (particularly among the unvaccinated);  the number and experiences of those who suffer breakthrough cases. We know that there is a wide spectrum of sentiment about both our own personal choices–whether to vaccinate or not; even if vaccinated, whether to continue to wear a mask or not–and what we would like to see required of others in our community.

As has been the case for sixteen months, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all faculty, staff and students, and we have crafted guidelines that we think offer the maximum amount of flexibility while maintaining our commitment to a healthy campus.

We very much look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. Please look for additional details to be shared soon. In the meantime, we hope that you are able to use the time between now and the start to re-energize yourselves and prepare for our return to UNC Asheville together.

Masks & Vaccinations:

First, we remind everyone that COVID vaccinations are not required for students, faculty or staff. In accordance with UNC System guidance, the University does not have the authority to mandate vaccinations at this time. However, all evidence points to vaccinations being a community’s strongest defense against the spread of COVID and the greatest hope for a return to normalcy.

No staff or faculty member can require another individual to share their vaccination status, with the exception of health professionals (including Sports Medicine staff) and those charged with conducting contact tracing (HR staff). It may be that verifying vaccination status may be necessary for some accommodations as well. This list is not meant to be exhaustive as there may be other particular circumstances that warrant exceptions, but it is important that only those with explicit authority make requests for vaccination status.

We have asked faculty and staff to complete a survey to let us know about their vaccination status. At this time, 607 responses have been submitted; of those, just over 95% report being fully vaccinated. As we learn more about the vaccination rate among students and other relevant variables , we will explore relaxing some mandates. Until that time, the following will be our guidelines, effective immediately. We will update and clarify these protocols as the academic year progresses:

  1. All members of the community who are unvaccinated must wear masks at all times and in all spaces, with the exception of their own personal office and living spaces.

  2. Masks will be required for everyone, vaccinated or not, in all indoor instructional spaces (most notably, classrooms and labs) at all times. This applies to all members of the UNC Asheville community (vaccinated or not) at all times. This extends to areas where people congregate just outside of instructional spaces.

There are the following caveats:

  1. Special permission may be requested by a faculty member and granted by the Provost’s Office for limited removal of masks in instructional spaces if it is determined that there is a pedagogical need and there is a way to do so that maintains appropriate safeguards for the health of all engaged. Approval can be sought by sending an email to provost@unca.edu with the subject: LIMITED REMOVAL OF MASK REQUEST and will be reviewed weekly through the start of classes. Details of the conditions under which masks may not be worn must be shared with, and always available to, students by the first day of class. Any individual who prefers to wear a mask should be accommodated and not asked to remove it.

  2. Faculty who can maintain at least 6 feet of distance from all others in the class and who are vaccinated may remove their mask during the time that they are maintaining that distance.

  1. For those who have been vaccinated, masks will not be required in outdoor spaces and non-instructional shared spaces such as the student center, dining hall, and residence hall public spaces, unless noted otherwise (as described below).

  2. Masks will be required of vaccinated attendees of any meetings, unless one of the following is true:

    1. the meeting is held outside;

    2. 6 feet of distance can be maintained between participants;

    3. there is unanimous agreement that masks can be removed by vaccinated attendees;

    4. it has been announced that masks will not be required of vaccinated attendees and either the meeting is truly, entirely optional or there are alternative ways for members to participate in the meeting fully (with the understanding that masks must still always be worn by those who are not vaccinated).

  3. We recognize that there may be instances in which community members wish to require masks in select indoor, non-instructional spaces where people would have no alternative but to interact in close proximity. More guidance on navigating these circumstances will be available soon.

  4. In private spaces (e.g. personal offices), individuals are free to either require masks of all people who enter their space, in which case, they are encouraged to post a sign in a prominent place, or agree to leave it up to the visitor to decide whether or not to wear a mask (understanding that all unvaccinated individuals should wear masks at all times, even in such a space if joined by other individuals).

  5. We encourage any vaccinated member of the University community to continue to wear masks, even when not mandated to do so, at any time that they wish to do so.

  6. No member of our community should be subject to negative remarks or actions based on their choice to wear or not wear a mask in any situation, provided that they are adhering to the standards and mandates described above.

Food, Space, Events & Outside Guests

Because eating requires the removal of one’s mask, this can be an especially tricky issue. In each (non-dining) space, the person in authority of the space can decide whether to allow eating. In particular, the guidelines for eating in a particular classroom may vary. We simply ask that faculty make this clear on their syllabi with a simple statement: Limited eating and drinking will/will not be permitted in this classroom.

We have now returned to pre-pandemic conditions with respect to allowing events and outside guests. All visitors to the campus are expected to adhere to the same guidelines as described above. In particular, all outside guests who are not vaccinated will be expected to wear masks.

Food may be served at any outdoor event. Food may be served at indoor events under limited circumstances. In particular, short indoor receptions in large spaces where one can grab food or drink, remove their mask, and return to wearing their mask after eating will be permitted. There will also be some other University events where food is served. These events will always prioritize the health and safety of those attending.

Students can only be required to attend an event as a part of a course if the event requires all attendees to wear masks or there are alternative (e.g. Zoom or other remote possibilities) ways to attend.

Musical events or other events where there is greater projection by members conducting the event, require special care. Ideally, performers at events held by the University, those who engage in greater projection (singing, certain instruments, etc.) should be vaccinated.

Our Bulldog NCAA Division I Athletics Program is gathering vaccination information from all student-athletes, coaches, and staff members and is developing updated protocols for safe return to practice and competitions based on NCAA and Big South Guidelines both for vaccinated and unvaccinated participants.  Protocols are also being developed for athletic venues to host spectators who may or may not be vaccinated.

Modality

Almost all classes will be offered in-person, and in-person only.

If a faculty member wishes to offer a course in one of the two following modes for any class, they may do so:

  • HyFlex: faculty member is in-person but teaches simultaneously to in-person and to remote students, with the student having the option to engage the class remotely or in person, entirely based on their choice, on any given day.

We recognize that this can be a challenging modality in which to teach. Indicating that this is an option for any faculty member who chooses to teach in this mode is not in any way an expression of expectation to do so. And while there are some scenarios where it may be necessary to find an alternative to the traditional class experience for a student, teaching both in-person and remotely at the same time may (or may not) be only one of many possible appropriate solutions. (See below for more on accommodations.)

  • Occasional Hybrid: faculty member teaches at least 75% of the class in-person, but allows for at most 25% of the course to be offered remotely. In this case, the remote portion of the course should be:

    • offered predominantly synchronously;

    • on a schedule made available to students at the start of class;

    • offer no more than two consecutive classes remotely.

Any faculty member offering the course in one of these modes should notify registrar@unca.edu as soon as possible and if offering an “occasional hybrid” course, include the schedule of remote offerings.

Requests & Resources for Accommodations & Courtesy Arrangements

We recognize that just as before the pandemic, there may be a desire or need for exemptions to certain COVID-related policies that are based on an individual’s circumstances. To ensure we are using the same language, accommodations are those requests determined based on documented disability, in discussion with Human Resources or the Office of Academic Accessibility, as appropriate; courtesy arrangements are any others. We intend to maintain flexibility and appreciate that situations will shift and change over the course of the semester and year.

Students

  • Accommodations: Students may present any request for accommodations in a class to the Office of Academic Accessibility (OAA). A request for accommodations may have many solutions and should be worked out in the usual manner–in consultation with the faculty member. It should be noted that remote instruction may NOT be an option in some circumstances and so students should be prepared to solve the issue at hand.

For faculty interested in engaging a solution that presents a challenge, technical or otherwise, we encourage you to ask colleagues in the CTL for support. In addition, we hope to share other resources soon as well. Please stay tuned for more on this.

  • Courtesy Arrangements: Students may always make a request of a faculty member for an exception for any reason. In this case, we ask both student and faculty member to approach each situation with compassion and understanding, recognizing both the situation a student may present, but also the challenges and concerns that could result from deviations to the particular pedagogical, curricular and other choices made by a faculty member for a particular class. As in the case of accommodations, it simply may not be possible to offer a remote instruction, for example. In the case of courtesy arrangements, the choice will ultimately be up to the faculty member regarding how to respond to a particular request.

Faculty & Staff

  • Accommodations: If a faculty or staff member would like to request an accommodation, they will need to complete the appropriate form(s) through Human Resources. Requests will be evaluated in accordance with the University’s Policy on ADA Accommodations. It is worth noting that these guidelines are different from the (CDC) guidelines used last year, and some who were granted accommodations last year may or may not qualify for under the ADA guidelines.

Faculty cases will be reviewed by HR with appropriate consultation with members of the Provost’s Office. (Only relevant information will be shared with select members of the Provost’s Office; all medical and other pertinent information will remain held in confidence by HR).

Outdoor Classrooms

We continue to have multiple campus locations for reservation and use.  As was the case last year, these spaces will often not have electrical outlets, tents or overhead covering, no screens for presentations and there will not be writing surfaces; some will have seating provided and others will be class with grass seating only.

It is important to keep in mind that outdoor spaces may be inaccessible to some students. For example, students with mobility differences may have difficulty sitting in the grass or in adirondack chairs. In order to ensure that all students can access learning spaces, it is recommended that you clearly communicate details regarding proposed outdoor meeting locations well in advance. Please assure students that you will accommodate all students, which may mean choosing a different space if needed. Sharing information about where you will be in advance will also prevent expecting to use an outdoor space only to find it already occupied.

To use the available spaces, please email your reservation request to Silke Crombie, Associate Director of Highsmith Operations, at scrombie@unca.edu. Please include the date and time of your class and the number of students in the class and Silke will promptly respond to your request to reserve an area with a confirmation.  Below are the outdoor spaces that will be available this Fall.

Furnished outdoor “classrooms”:

  •      Quad: Two meeting circles of 10 adirondack chairs.
  •      Rhoades Plaza
  •      Carmichael Hall Terrace
  •      Robinson Hall Breezeway
  •      Laurel Forum Courtyard
  •      Tennent Park Outdoor Classroom

Locations of stacks of folding chairs:

  •      Zeis Portico
  •      Carmichael Hall and Whitesides Hall for Reynolds Green
  •      Bulldog Way

Unfurnished outdoor grass classrooms

  •      Karpen Azalea Garden
  •      Reynolds Green
  •      Zageir Green

Travel Requests

There are currently no mandated restrictions on domestic travel. Domestic travel does not require prior approval by senior staff. However, there are budget constraints. Resources for travel are not at the levels they were pre-pandemic.

International travel still does require prior approval.

Looking Ahead

Our plans for the fall are contingent on ongoing trends regarding the management and treatment of COVID-19. We remain hopeful as we continue to plan for a more typical academic year, but we also recognize there may be a need to pivot our plans suddenly if necessary.

Finally, we want to acknowledge the extraordinary hard work, compassion, and generosity of our faculty and staff over the last 16 months. Despite the profound challenges we’ve experienced, our shared commitment to students, to our values, and to each other remains strong. Thank you.

We look forward to an exciting 95th academic year at UNC Asheville and can’t wait to see everyone back on campus!

Best regards,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor

Garikai Campbell, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

Kortni R. Campbell, Vice Chancellor for Admission and Financial Aid

Janet Cone, Athletics Director and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises

Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and Professor of Sociology

Lakesha McDay, Director of Governmental and Community Relations

John Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance

Kirk Swenson, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Darin Waters, Honors Director, Director for Community Engagement, and Professor of History

Update: July 23, 2021

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

The start of our University’s 2021-22 year, our 95th academic year, is almost upon us! We are excited to welcome everyone back to campus as we, together, provide our high-quality, vital, engaged and safe academic and co-curricular experiences for all.

As we prepare to return to campus, Senior Staff is creating detailed guidelines for fall semester related to masks and vaccinations, safety and event protocols. These protocols are being developed in line with guidance from the UNC System, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and CDC protocols. We will share these guidelines early next week.

Our top priority, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, is the health and safety of the UNC Asheville community. Therefore, the new guidelines aim to provide the maximum amount of flexibility while supporting vaccination and mask guidelines that best sustain the health and safety of our campus community to the fullest extent possible. We will continue to review NCDHHS and CDC guidance and recommendations daily, and shift University guidelines as needed.

Thank you for your resilience, patience and ongoing commitment to our academic community’s values and expectations of mutual respect and care for one another through our shared focus on health and safety for all.

Best regards,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing
Kortni R. Campbell, Vice Chancellor for Admission and Financial Aid
Janet Cone, Athletics Director and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Lyndi Hewitt, Chief of Staff and Professor of Sociology
Lakesha McDay, Director of Governmental and Community Relations
John Pierce, Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance
Kirk Swenson, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
Darin Waters, Honors Director, Director for Community Engagement, and Professor of History

Update: July 13, 2021

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff,

I hope that you and those you care for are having a healthy and enjoyable summer.

As we continue to prepare for a more typical semester this fall, one of our goals is to determine the percentage of students and employees who have received or are planning to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As you know, the UNC System is not requiring students, faculty, or staff to get the vaccine. However, UNC Asheville would like to monitor the percentage of campus community members who are vaccinated in order to assist in decision-making related to COVID prevention and mitigation efforts.

While we strongly recommend that all members of the campus community receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we understand that this is an individual choice.

We are requesting that all staff, faculty and employees complete a short survey (see the July 13 email for the survey link) regarding their vaccine status by Friday, July 23. Responses are anonymous (i.e., your identity cannot be connected in any way to your response).

Thank you for your consideration and for your ongoing commitment to our community expectations of mutual respect and care for all.

Thank you,

Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: July 1, 2021

(To students)

Dear Students,

I hope that you are enjoying the summer.

As we continue to prepare for a more typical semester this fall, one of our goals is to determine the percentage of students and employees who have received or are planning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The UNC System is not requiring students to get the vaccine, but we would like to monitor the percentage of the campus community who are fully vaccinated to help in our contract tracing efforts in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.

While we strongly recommend that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we understand that this is an individual choice. It is important to note that the current CDC guidelines state that individuals who are fully vaccinated will not have to wear masks indoors or quarantine if exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. These are significant benefits of getting vaccinated prior to arriving on campus.

We are requesting that students voluntarily reply to this email to inform the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center of your vaccine status. This information will be kept confidential and only be recorded in your Student Health Record.

  • If you have been fully vaccinated, please reply to this email by attaching a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine card to the message or uploading it to your Student Health Portal   Access Portal
  • If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, but plan to get both doses before returning to campus, simply reply to this email with the statement “I am planning on getting vaccinated prior to arriving on campus.”
  • If you are not planning to get vaccinated simply reply “I have chosen not to be vaccinated.”

Again, your response to this request is voluntary, however, all students who reply to this request will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of five $500 credit in flex dollars loaded to your campus One Card to be used for campus dining, books, etc.

Thank you for your consideration and for your ongoing commitment to our community expectations of mutual respect and care for all.

Regards,
Jay Cutspec

Update: July 1, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I hope that each of you are able to get a break over the summer.  As UNC Asheville prepares to welcome students to campus for a more typical fall semester, we ask that faculty and staff also prepare for the return to pre-pandemic operations for the fall 2021 semester, with safety precautions in place. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and the guidance of the UNC System, and we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

Employees are expected to return to working on campus by August 2, 2021.  If you have already worked with your department or supervisor on a return to work plan prior to August 2nd, please proceed with that plan.  We understand there are individual circumstances that may call for accommodations or flexibility. As we transition back to on-site work, we encourage supervisors, staff and colleagues to approach each other with understanding, care and compassion. The specific mechanisms in place to address accommodations, exceptions and workplace flexibility will be shared in the next week.  We are finalizing our University teleworking policy and processes in accordance with UNC System guidelines.

Thank you for your continued work to support our campus community.

Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: June 14, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Students,

As COVID-19 cases in our community and across the state continue trending downward and the number of individuals vaccinated continues to increase, in line with CDC guidance and effective immediately, UNC Asheville is lifting the face covering requirement for all vaccinated individuals in both outdoor and indoor settings.  If you are not vaccinated, you should continue to wear a face covering.

We continue to foster a community of mutual respect and care for one another by being understanding, respectful and supportive of the unique circumstances of each individual and their personal choices.  Any vaccinated individuals who wish to continue to wear a face covering are encouraged to do so.

We continue to strongly encourage everyone in our campus community to get vaccinated.  Each member of our community who receives a vaccine reduces the risk of transmission. Please visit https://myspot.nc.gov to find a vaccination site near you.

Pursuant to Governor Cooper’s most recent executive order, face coverings are still required for children’s day and overnight camps, and such camps taking place at UNC Asheville will follow that requirement.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience as we work through the ever changing landscape of this pandemic and thank you also for all that each of you do for our campus and our community.

Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

 

Update: May 24, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

I am writing to follow up on the email we sent last week regarding our campus COVID-19 protocols. Effective immediately, UNC Asheville is lifting the requirement for outdoor use of face coverings provided you can safely maintain physical distance.

We continue to ask that you wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces, follow physical distancing, monitor your health and symptoms, and get tested as needed.

I recognize that there may be a sense of frustration among some members of our campus community that we are not lifting indoor mask requirements given the recent announcements by the CDC and Governor Cooper. Our decision mirrors what many colleges and universities are doing for the summer, including the majority of those in the UNC System. We will continue to keep a close watch on CDC Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education. You’ll see that the CDC last updated this guidance in late April with guidance on safe end of year celebrations. We fully expect that they will continue to provide updates and guidance over the summer as we approach the academic year and we will continue to update our campus accordingly, including revising our Community Expectations before the start of the Fall semester.

As with last summer, there are many people involved in the careful planning for a safe return to campus for the next academic year. We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue, as a community, to navigate this really tough and uncertain time.

Thank you for all that you do for our campus and our community.

Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

 

Update: May 17, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

I hope that you are all well and are able to enjoy some of our beautiful mountain weather!  As you probably know, last week, the CDC provided guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without wearing a mask or the need to social distance from others.  Based on that guidance, on Thursday Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina would remove its indoor mask mandate for most settings and lift mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements.

For the time being, we ask that you, our staff, our faculty, and our students, continue to follow our UNC Asheville COVID Community Expectations.  In brief, they are:

  • Wear a face covering in all public spaces including classrooms, labs, academic, athletic, and student union buildings.
  • Carefully follow physical distancing and room or building capacity guidelines.
  • Monitor your health and symptoms and get tested as needed.

UNC Asheville will be working closely with the UNC System and public health officials to continue to understand updated protocols and will continue to adjust our Community Expectations as we progress through the summer and ahead of the fall semester.  We promise to continue to communicate to our campus as things change.

Thank you for all that you do for our campus and our community.

Heather Parlier

Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: April 27, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Dear Campus Colleagues,

Late last week, following an 11 day pause, the CDC and FDA recommended lifting the pause in the administration of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  Following CDC and FDA affirmation that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19, the North Carolina DHHS also recommended resuming administration of the J&J vaccine.

The FDA’s vaccine fact sheet is available here:  https://www.fda.gov/media/146305/download?mc_cid=da3cf7f345&mc_eid=7c60eb73f7.

Due to decreased demand for vaccinations, the MAHEC/UNCA immunization waitlist is closed. However, we are happy to share that we are hosting a Johnson and Johnson walk-in clinic on May 1st from 10am to 1pm at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center. Everyone is welcome! No appointments or registration required.

You can also take advantage of walk-in availability at the AB Tech vaccination clinic.  Beginning April 28th, hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 4 pm. Appointments can also be scheduled by visiting www.buncombeready.org or by calling (828) 419-0095.

We continue to follow CDC guidelines and the guidance of the UNC System and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated.  If you have any questions, please contact covidupdates@unca.edu.

 

Update: April 13, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Earlier this morning, the CDC and FDC issued a statement recommending a pause on the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review six reported cases of blood clots in individuals who received the J&J vaccine and assess their potential significance. The FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, NC DHHS is recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

The UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 Immunization Site will pause administering the J&J vaccine in line with the recommendations of the CDC, FDA, and NC DHHS until further guidance is provided by these agencies. The Immunization Site will operate as scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday to administer second doses of Pfizer and Moderna. The first dose Moderna clinic scheduled for Friday, April 16th will proceed as planned. There is no recommendation from the CDC to pause administration of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The J&J vaccination appointments scheduled for Saturday, April 17th will be cancelled and patients will be called to reschedule their appointment.

If you experience any vaccination side effects, you can report them to the CDC through V-safe, their online health checker tool.

We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and the guidance of the UNC System, and we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

If you have questions, please contact covidupdates@unca.edu.

 

Update: March 31, 2021

(To students)

Dear UNC Asheville Students,

Last week, Governor Cooper announced that the rest of Group 4 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 31, one week earlier than previously announced. The rest of Group 4 includes:

  • Workers in essential sectors, which includes higher education, not previously   considered front line workers under Group 3, and
  • Persons living in congregate living settings, including students living in on- and off-campus congregate settings.

This means that all university employees, and students living in on- and off-campus congregate settings, are eligible on March 31.

The Governor also announced that Group 5 eligibility opens on April 7. Group 5 includes all adults age 16 and over who were not eligible under a previous group. This means that students who are not living in a congregate setting will be eligible on April 7. (Note that persons age 16-17 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and J&J vaccines are not authorized by the FDA for persons under age 18).

For more information about the J&J vaccine, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/janssen/janssen-faqs.html

We are thrilled to tell you that the UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 Immunization Site on campus at the Reuter Center has received a significant allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We are offering a vaccine clinic for students on Thursday, April 8 and Sunday, April 11 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Reuter Center on campus located at 1 Campus View Road.

Please use this link to register for an appointment to receive the J&J vaccine at the UNC Asheville-MAHEC Immunization Site: covid.mahec.net

For information about other vaccine locations, please visit the DHHS “My Spot” vaccine locator website: NC Vaccine Finder.

Please contact covidupdates@unca.edu if you have questions about the student vaccine clinic taking place on campus on April 8 and April 11.

Best regards,
Jay Cutspec

Update: March 25, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Colleagues,

I want to share policy about a few issues that have come up recently.

TRAVEL: Currently, the UNC System’s policy remains that travel is only approved on the authority of the Chancellor. If faculty have travel that is within the existing budgets of your department/area or grant that you feel is critical, please share that with provost@unca.edu with the subject line of “TRAVEL”. Please describe in the body of the email the specifics of the travel and ONE PARAGRAPH explaining why it is critical, and one line on estimated cost and funding source. Please be sure to include your name and department int he email. If it is to be funded by the department, please ensure that the chair is copied, or more generally that the fund manager for the fund source is copied.

DOMESTIC travel that is deemed essential to one’s work, for which you have identified sufficient funding, and does not involve students will ordinarily be approved. International travel and any travel that might include any students will need to undergo greater scrutiny and may require more details and conversation.

VISITORS: I would argue that we have done remarkably well so far this year with keeping COVID at bay. I am hopeful that we will continue to do so as we work to close out this semester. One of the important and challenging decisions we made was to limit entry to our campus buildings and participating in events to almost no visitors who are not a part of our student, faculty and staff community. We have made the very challenging decision to maintain that course through to the end of the semester, even as there has been some easing of restrictions on gathering.

Our thinking is that this will help ensure that we can make it to the end of the semester without significant COVID prevalence in our community. So, even as departments, programs and groups might normally have end of the year celebrations, presentations, performances, and the like that would invite outside visitors, please plan for any such events to only be open to those who are existing students, faculty or staff members.

We recognize that there may be special circumstances that warrant a particular guest or set of guests to be on our campus for a limited, restricted reason. If you have such an exception that you would like to be considered, please send an email to provost@unca.edu with the subject line of “VISITOR”. Please describe the number of visitors and the context in which you are hoping them to be on campus. It will be helpful if you include something about the nature of the contact they might have with students, faculty and staff, how long they will be engaged on campus, and any other relevant details. Please be sure to include your name and department in the email.

Please understand that we expect exceptions to be granted very rarely.

VACCINATED COMMUNITY MEMBERS’ EXPECTATIONS: As many of you know, our own vaccination site, operated in coordination with MAHEC, is doing exceptionally well, having delivered nearly 7000 vaccines to community members already. This includes both those who are students, faculty and staff, and those in the greater Asheville community.  In addition, we know that many in our UNCA community have gotten vaccinated at other locations as well. All of this makes us all very hopeful about the fall.

In some instances around the country, we know that some who have been vaccinated have begun to relax the behaviors around social distancing and mask wearing. That seems to be quite rare on our campus, but it seemed worth a reminder that regardless of vaccination status, we are asking all community members to continue to maintain the same community expectations we have exhibited all year. Over the summer we will re-examine those expectations in light of the best health and safety information. Until then, thank you to everyone for continuing to make this semester and this year a success by maintaining the 3 Ws–Wear your mask, Wash your hands, and Wait to keep 6ft distance!

Thanks for your attention to these things. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at provost@unca.edu.

Best,
Garikai Campbell
on behalf of Senior Staff

Update: March 22, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Students,

As we begin the final six weeks of the spring 2021 semester, COVID-19 cases across the state are declining and the number of individuals vaccinated continues to increase. We intend to return to regular campus operations in the fall, including a return to academic instruction and co-curricular activities that are predominantly in person on campus.

In consultation with the UNC System, the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, and our trusted healthcare partners at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) and given the low number of cases on campus and our shared commitment to our UNC Asheville Community Expectations, we have begun planning to resume typical operations in the fall, although it is likely we may keep many of our current COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

Over the past year, we have fostered a strong sense of community despite the unexpected challenges. We will continue to work closely with faculty, staff and students to deepen our commitment to connection, and to ensure we remain true to our mission and our values as a public liberal arts and sciences university.

We will provide additional information in the coming weeks and months as we continue to monitor the pandemic and continue to plan for the fall 2021 semester.

Vaccine Update

The UNC Asheville-MAHEC Immunization Site on campus has administered 6,720 vaccines since February 19, 2021. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has played a role in this important public health service.

Under guidelines recently shared by N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, vaccine eligibility is expanding.

Faculty and Staff: Faculty and staff who did not meet the criteria for “front line essential worker” in Group 3 because they were not working on-campus will become eligible in the second portion of Group 4, expected to start on April 7.

Students: Students who live in group living settings (congregate living), including residence halls will become eligible in the second portion of Group 4, expected to start on April 7. Students who live in rented houses and large apartment complexes with other students, are considered to live in congregate settings.

Individuals with Higher Risks: People between 16-64 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 are eligible in the first portion of Group 4, which opened on March 17.

As soon as you are eligible, we strongly encourage you to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is the best way to protect our community and ensure we can resume normal campus operations. Visit the NCDHHS website to learn more about priority groups and eligibility.

Looking Ahead

Our plans for the fall are contingent on ongoing positive trends regarding the management and treatment of COVID-19. We remain hopeful as we continue to plan for a typical fall semester, but we also recognize there may be a need to pivot our plans if necessary. Thank you for your continued resilience and patience as we embark on this next phase of planning for the 2021-22 academic year.

Regards,

Chancellor Cable and Provost Campbell

Update: March 12, 2021

(To students, faculty and staff)

Hello Campus Community,

Thank you to all who have already signed up to work the COVID Vaccination Clinic over the next few days!  Your support of and work for our community so appreciated.

We have switched to a much better tool for you to sign up for shifts that begin on Friday, March 19. If you have already submitted your shift choices in the previous Google Form, you will have to re-submit them using this tool. We apologize for any inconvenience. Here is the link:

https://signup.com/go/rWPojRc

Start by entering your email, then select only the shifts you can commit to working. You can make changes to your schedule if you have to. Look for a confirmation email with a link to add your shifts to your Google calendar. Please read the descriptions of all the positions (Greeter, Waiting Area Monitor, and Registrar) before you make your selections.

If you have any questions about volunteering, kindly direct those to Karin Hedberg at khedberg@unca.edu. Any questions regarding your work schedule or timesheet should be directed to hr@unca.edu.

Thank you again for your involvement in this impactful community effort.  We appreciate all of you.

Update: March 11, 2021

(To faculty and staff)

Good afternoon,

On March 3, NC DHHS opened vaccinations to all of Group 3, which includes university instructors and support staff who are working “in-person at your place of work, including staff who anticipate an imminent return to an in-person work setting.”

While the University is not requiring students, faculty or staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine we do highly encourage you to get it once it is available to you. Federal, state and local public health and medical experts agree that having as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible is our best defense against the virus.

As many of you are making appointments for vaccinations and/or signing up to help at the MAHEC/UNC Asheville vaccination clinic, we want to make you aware of some time keeping/leave provisions associated with these activities.

Vaccination Clinic Workers/Volunteers

We sincerely appreciate the employees and community members who have signed up for shifts at the MAHEC/UNC Asheville vaccination clinic.

Employees who are interested in volunteering for the clinic should check with their supervisors before signing up for a shift.  Supervisors should work with employees so that, whenever possible, they can use flexible scheduling during a week the employee is covering a shift at the clinic.  For example, an employee might take off on Friday and then work on Saturday at the clinic.

  • Staff in permanent positions that are non-exempt from FLSA overtime provisions (i.e., those who complete a bi-weekly leave report) should record the time worked in the vaccination clinic as hours worked.

  • Staff in permanent positions that are exempt from FLSA overtime provisions (i.e., those who complete a monthly leave report) may work with their supervisors to use professional scheduling to take corresponding time off.

  • Staff in temporary positions are not eligible for compensatory time off, and funding has not been allocated to pay temporary employees for hours worked at the clinic.  We welcome and encourage temporary employees who want to volunteer at the clinic to sign up to do so, but want them to be aware that those are volunteer hours.

COVID-19 Vaccination Work and Leave Provisions

The UNC System recently updated work and leave provisions related to the COVID-19 vaccinations.  These provisions are in effect through June 30, 2021.

Vaccinations During Work Hours

With prior supervisor approval, both permanent and temporary employees can use paid time worked (maximum of 8 hours) during their normal work hours to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is paid work time and does not count against the COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL).  No leave entry is required on leave records, and non-exempt employees would record the time as regular work hours on their bi-weekly reports.  Supervisors may ask to see the vaccination appointment confirmation or the vaccination card as part of the approval process.

This leave cannot be used outside of normal work hours.  Employees who are on other pre-approved leave (e.g. FMLA, child care, vacation leave, parental leave) are not eligible to use paid time worked to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine during their leave of absence.

Vaccination Reactions

Eligible employees may use COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave (PAL) if they experience a reaction to their vaccination, either on the day of the vaccination or the following day. Employees must use their accrued personal leave for reactions that are experienced beyond the day after vaccination.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, permanent employees and temporary employees designated as mandatory employees may complete an application to receive limited COVID-19 paid administrative leave under the following conditions:*

  • The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider or public health official.

  • The employee was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and is awaiting a diagnosis.

  • The employee experiences a reaction to their COVID-19 vaccination that prevents them from returning to work, either on the day of the vaccination or on the following day.

*Note:  Use of this COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave for the purposes listed above is cumulative from March 16, 2020, through June 30, 2021. If an employee has used 80 hours of FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave or NC COVID Paid Administrative Leave during this period for any of the reasons listed above, then those hours must be deducted from any remaining paid administrative leave granted. Employees who have already used 80 hours will need to use their own leave to cover the absence.

To apply for the NC COVID PAL, employees need to complete the NC COVID Leave Request Form. For the supporting documentation due to a vaccination reaction, a copy of the vaccination card may be sent to HR via fax (828-255-7118) or via campus mail (CPO 1450).

If you have questions regarding the provisions, please email hr@unca.edu.

Update: March 11, 2021

(To students)

Dear Student,

We are pleased to announce that UNC Asheville has received an additional $1.67 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) II Emergency Grant funding. In 2020, this funding was known as the CARES Act Funding. Phase 1 of aid disbursement will begin this month, and all students who are eligible to receive funding will be notified via email.

Phase 1 grants are based on financial need as designated by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you receive a grant, you can choose to apply it towards your existing balance or receive the amount as a refund by completing the HEERF II Authorization Form, which will be included in your award notification email.

Students who are not eligible to receive a grant in Phase 1 can apply for funding in Phase 2, which will begin in April. If you do not receive a grant in Phase 1, you will not receive a notification email.

You can find more information about the Federal HEERF II Emergency Grant on UNC Asheville’s coronavirus website.

Please watch your email closely, and let us know if you have any questions in the meantime at cares@unca.edu.

Thank you,
HEERF II Emergency Grant Committee

Update: March 3, 2021

(Message to students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Community,

I am writing to update you on the North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Today, Governor Cooper announced that all of Group 3 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning tomorrow, March 3, 2021. Group 3 includes “frontline essential workers” which are defined by NC DHHS as individuals who 1) must be in-person at their place of work, and 2) work in one of the DHHS delineated essential sectors. Colleges and universities are included as an essential sector.

Additional information about today’s announcement is available here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines/find-your-spot-take-your-shot/deeper-dive-group-3#frontline-essential-worker-frontline-essential-worker

Starting tomorrow, many of you will be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible, we encourage you to get vaccinated. The best and easiest way to find vaccine sites close to you is by visiting https://myspot.nc.gov/ and search by your zip code.

The UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 Immunization Site is a community vaccination site and can be found on myspot.nc.gov.  Please understand that as a community vaccination site, we cannot prioritize individuals and UNC Asheville does not handle appointment scheduling or confirmations. For questions about the UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 site, please see the FAQs on coronavirus.unca.edu.

Thank you,
Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: Feb. 16, 2021

(Message to students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Students,

I am pleased to announce that UNC Asheville has joined forces with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in the global fight against COVID-19. Starting this week through early summer 2021, UNC Asheville and MAHEC will operate a COVID-19 immunization site at the UNC Asheville Reuter Center located on 1 Campus View Road in Asheville.

The indoor site will operate as vaccines are made available by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This week the site is tentatively scheduled to operate Friday (2/19), Saturday (2/20) and Sunday (2/21) from 8-5 p.m. each day depending on vaccine availability. Appointments are required. No one without an appointment will be allowed to enter.

Currently, according to NCDHHS guidelines, individuals 65 and older and all healthcare workers are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. To do so, please visit: covid.mahec.net (no “www” and no “https”) to register for the waitlist. Community members on the waitlist will be contacted to make an appointment as vaccines become available.

Future dates and hours of operation will be announced in advance and plans will scale over time to allow for 300 vaccines per day, with up to 1,950 per week as staffing and vaccine allotment allow.

As a key community partner in Western North Carolina, UNC Asheville is honored to collaborate with MAHEC to provide lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. We will manage the vaccine site, logistics, traffic, and safety, and MAHEC will staff the clinical operations, registration, vaccinations, and data entry and clinical and non-clinical volunteers.

My deep gratitude goes to the many people at UNC Asheville and to Dr. Jeff Heck and his team at MAHEC who have worked diligently for weeks on this important immunization site.

At this time, volunteer opportunities for the site have been filled. We will let you know when there are additional volunteer positions available. For questions related to the site, please email covidupdates@unca.edu.

The UNC Asheville-MAHEC COVID-19 Immunization Site further deepens the close collaboration our two organizations have fostered since the beginning of the pandemic and demonstrates our shared commitment to serving the needs of our community in Asheville and the region.

Regards,
Chancellor Cable

Update: Feb. 12, 2021

(Message to faculty and staff)

Dear Campus Colleagues,

After Governor Cooper’s announcement about the eligibility of Group 3 for the COVID-19 Vaccine, we’ve received a number of questions.  I’m writing to clarify where the State of North Carolina is with respect to vaccine eligibility.

  • Currently, Groups 1 and 2 are eligible for the vaccine.  These groups include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and individuals 65 and older.
  • On February 24th, anyone working in child care or in Pre-K-12 schools becomes eligible for the vaccine.  These individuals are a part of Group 3.
  • On March 10th, the State plans to open eligibility to the other essential workers included in Group 3.  College and University “instructors and support staff” are a part of Group 3.  Neither UNC Asheville nor the UNC System have received clarification about the State’s definition of that wording.  We will communicate with you as soon as we learn more.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about this.  Thank you for all that you are doing to keep our campus a safe and healthy place to learn, live and work!

Heather Parlier

Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: Feb. 5, 2021

(Message to students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Students,

With the spring semester well underway, we thank each of you for everything you have done and continue to do to make our return to campus a success. While we know and appreciate that our faculty, staff and students continue to model our UNC Asheville Community Expectations of mutual respect and care for all, it is also clear that the level of prevalence of COVID-19 across our nation and area affects our campus. For this reason, we anticipated in January that the number of COVID-19 cases on our campus this spring would likely increase over our very low number of cases this fall.

You may have noticed an uptick in our case count and positivity rate this week. Swings in data, larger than at some other institutions perhaps, are expected due to the prevalence of the virus in our area, and are related to our small size and low rates of testing this particular week. What is clear from this uptick is that as a community we need to remain diligent and committed to the 3Ws. We recognize that 3W “protocol fatigue” is real for many people in our country, but we must focus on vigilance in every interaction both on and off campus.

It is important to know our UNC Asheville COVID-19 protocols are working, our professional contact tracers are doing their work, and our aggressive quarantine and isolation practices are helping mitigate spread. We have increased campus wide surveillance testing for athletics and residential on-campus students on a voluntary basis, and are also identifying cases early. Please remember that UNC Asheville has not had a single case of COVID-19 related to classroom or workspace contact; all cases are the result of personal interactions among individuals. This is the time to stand strong, deepen our resolve to support our collective health and well-being.

We continue to work collaboratively with the UNC System and a consortium of medical and virus prevention experts in our city, region and state, including MAHEC and the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services. The North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 dashboard reports that the prevalence of COVID-19 in our county across key indicators is decreasing; we must continue to do our part by practicing the 3Ws.

Volunteer Opportunity: If you would like to do your part by volunteering in our community to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, MAHEC is accepting volunteers across several areas. Simply complete the form to take advantage of this opportunity:  https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/bbbadc579993417696176c67362ff7b0. If you have questions, please contact Sydney Nazloo at MAHEC: sydney.nazloo@mahec.net.

As a reminder, students who are not feeling well and WHO have COVID-19 symptoms including fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath) should contact UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520. Students who test positive for COVID-19 should contact Jay Cutspec, Director of the Health and Counseling Center at jcutspec@unca.edu. Employees who believe they may have COVID-19 should contact their health care provider. If you as an employee test positive for COVID-19, please contact Human Resources at hr@unca.edu to understand your leave options.

This ongoing situation has not been easy and it is not yet over. While there may be light at the end of a long tunnel, we must continue to protect ourselves and others. Together we will continue to face the COVID-19 challenges through individual responsibility, University-wide resilience, mutual respect, and our shared attention to the common good for all.

Regards,

Chancellor Cable and Provost Campbell
Nancy J. Cable, Ph.D.

Update: Feb. 2, 2021

(Message to students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

I understand that some of you have questions about quarantine and isolation requirements for individuals who have either tested positive for COVID or who have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms. UNC Asheville follows current CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 quarantine and isolation, which is as follows:

  • Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.
  • Isolation keeps someone who is sick or who tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.

Local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. If you need to quarantine, please follow the recommendations of your local public health department.

Quarantine guidance

The CDC guidance for quarantine allows for three different options:

No COVID-19 test and no symptoms:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.  If symptoms develop, see Isolation guidance.

 Options to reduce length of quarantine:

  • With a release from the Health Department or your medical provider, may return to work after 10 days, or
  • Return after 7 days with a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later).

Isolation guidance

The CDC guidance for isolation is:

If you are sick and think or know you have tested positive for COVID-19, stay home until after:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared,
  • Symptoms have improved, and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, stay home until after:

  • 10 days have passed since your positive test.

See the infographic from the CDC that outlines quarantine and isolation information in more detail.

When a student returns to the classroom after quarantine or isolation, they should have documentation from their health care provider. Ideally, the student should show their provider’s message to the instructor upon their return to class. If the student has no documentation, and is asking you for guidance about isolation or quarantine, please direct the student to contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520. Please note, faculty and staff are not responsible for calculating quarantine or isolation or assessing symptoms.

How to Report a Positive Diagnosis or Concern

Students, faculty or staff members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should please complete this confidential form to notify the University. You may also use this form to report a concern about another person related to COVID-19.

For any other questions, please email covidupdates@unca.edu.

Thank you for all that you do for our campus and our community.

Heather Parlier
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

Update: Feb. 2, 2021

(Message to students)

Dear Students,

We will launch a Spring 2021 COVID-19 surveillance program for UNC Asheville students this week. This is a semester-long program that is voluntary for students and is being launched in response to the increased prevalence of COVID-19 across the country and in our area, and because individuals are often asymptomatic. Early identification of COVID-19 cases requires regular surveillance testing to monitor – and respond to – any potential spread among the campus community.  The following students are eligible for surveillance testing:

  • Students residing in campus housing and not experiencing symptoms.
  • Students who live off campus and have at least one in-person class.
  • Students participating in on-campus instruction or co-curricular activities.

This program is not designed for students who have all on-line classes and/or do not come to campus.

The first surveillance testing clinics will be conducted beginning Thursday, February 4 from 3-5 p.m. and Friday, February 5 from 12-1:30 p.m.  Both clinics will be held in the Blue Ridge Room of Highsmith Student Union.  Please use the entrance closest to Brown Hall. You must have an appointment to get testing.  A PCR test will be done and expect results in 24-48 hours. The test is free to eligible students.

Additional surveillance testing dates, times, and locations will be announced as they are finalized.

Students who are experiencing COVID symptoms should not come to the testing site and they should contact the Health and Counseling Center at (828) 251-6520 for medical evaluation.

If you would like to participate in surveillance testing, please make an appointment by clicking on this link.

COVID Test

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,
Jay Cutspec

 

Update: Jan. 12, 2021

(Message to students, faculty and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

Welcome back for the 2021 spring semester! We hope you were able to enjoy the winter break and find the time to rest, reflect, and recharge.

With the guidance of UNC System leaders and in direct consultation with Stacie Saunders, public health director at Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS), we will begin the spring 2021 semester as planned on January 19.

The information conveyed by Ms. Saunders is that COVID-19 cases in our county are accurately following BCHHS predictions, reaching a peak last week and now beginning to slowly decline. After receiving this information, the senior staff decided that we begin the spring 2021 semester as planned given our success last semester with low prevalence of COVID-19 cases.

We understand many in our UNC Asheville community are dealing with a variety of challenging circumstances. We encourage you to make the best decisions for yourself and your families based on your specific circumstances. Students in need of support should contact the Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520 or call the Bulldog Health Link at 1.888.267.3675. Employees should contact Human Resources at hr@unca.edu or contact the Employee Assistance Program at 833.515.0768 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

We continue to closely monitor the public health conditions in our city, region, state and country in consultation with UNC System leaders and our leadership partners at BCHHS, Mountain Area Health Education Center, Mission Health Hospital, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, and with other college and university leaders in Western North Carolina.

COVID-19 testing for residential students

All residential students are required to provide documented medical certification of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entering or moving into the residence halls. All non-residential students, faculty and staff must monitor their symptoms as outlined by the CDC, stay home if you have symptoms, consult with a medical professional as needed, and get tested as needed. Both quarantine and isolation bedspace are available (92 beds in total).

Continued rigorous health and safety protocols on campus

We will continue to adhere to rigorous health and safety protocols across campus. Details of these can be found in the UNC Asheville Spring 2021 Plan, aspects of which have been updated to reflect new guidance, protocols, practices and planning specifically for the spring semester. The plan is a guide for our return to the UNC Asheville campus for the spring semester, but the rapidly changing situation related to COVID-19 necessitates our shared flexibility and adaptability as we navigate the coming weeks and months. Please visit coronavirus.unca.edu for the most updated University information related to COVID-19.

Continuing our community expectations of mutual respect and care for all

We are proud of the low prevalence of COVID-19 on our campus last fall, however, we know that the cases of COVID have increased significantly at the local, state, and national levels and this is a time to be as vigilant in adhering to health and virus-mitigation protocols as ever, and confirming our community expectations.

As a member of the UNC Asheville University Community, mutual respect and care for all serve as the foundation of our community expectations. Our shared commitment is to take the necessary precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19 while following all recommended health guidelines. We all must adhere to the 3w’s (wear a mask, wash our hands, wait six feet apart), self-monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms, and consult with a medical professional if we have symptoms or when we have questions or concerns. The UNC Asheville Community Expectations can be found at coronavirus.unca.edu.

The past two semesters have seen us overcome significant challenges and explore new opportunities; this semester will give us even more hope and opportunities as a campus community to cooperate with collegiality, and ensure the highest-quality academic and co-curricular experience for our students.

Thank you for your support of our students, each other and our university community.

Best regards,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost

Update: Jan. 10, 2021

(Message to all students)

The University has arranged for the Range Urgent Care Center to come to campus on Friday and Saturday, January 15th & 16th to do PCR testing. Rapid tests are not available. The PCR results will take 24 hours. Students will not be able to move into the residence halls until the test results are returned, so this will be most helpful for students who have an alternative place to who stay or live a reasonable driving distance from campus.

There is no copay required at the time of the test. The Range will bill the student’s insurance a fee of $100.

The clinic will be on Friday and Saturday, January 15th and 16th from 10 AM – 2 PM in the Highsmith Student Union. This time frame is based upon getting the results in a reasonable time the following day. There is no appointment necessary, but please email covid@unca.edu, if you are interested. Please include your arrival date and approximate time.

Best regards,
Jay Cutspec

Update: Jan. 7, 2021

(Message to new residential students)

Dear UNC Asheville Resident Student,

Once again we want to welcome you to living on campus at UNC Asheville.  We are thrilled you have chosen the “on-campus advantage” as part of your experience here!

As we prepare for the Spring Semester, we continue to closely monitor the public health conditions in our city, region, state and country in consultation with UNC System leaders and our leadership partners at MAHEC, Mission Health, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, the Buncombe County Department of Health Public Health, and the superintendents of the Buncombe County School System and the Asheville City School System, and with other colleges and university leaders in Western North Carolina. The health and safety of all members of our campus community is our highest priority.  The most current information can be found at coronavirus.unca.edu.

Here is a recap of the information that was sent to you at the end of last fall as well as new and additional information.

In the interest of public health and in accordance with UNC System guidance, UNC Asheville will require all residential students to provide documented medical proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering or moving into the residence halls in January. We believe this provides the best opportunity for a safe environment on campus as we begin the spring semester.

Prior to you moving into the residence halls, you must provide documented medical proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to campus in order to be given access to your residence hall and for your meal plan to be activated. Both PCR and rapid test results are acceptable.   If you haven’t already scheduled an appointment or made plans for your test please contact your primary medical provider or local health center.  The following link may help you identify health providers in your area.  https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

The test results may be submitted in the three following ways:

  • uploaded to your confidential health portal through Health and Counseling
  • emailed to covid@unca.edu
  • hard copy brought with you when you check-in to your residence hall

Once you’ve been tested, you should quarantine at home to await your test results and once you get your negative results before coming to UNC Asheville to move into the residence halls.

For new students, you can move into your assigned residence hall between 9am-4pm on Friday, January 15.  

If you have received approval to arrive early because of a University requirement, you will receive additional communication about your arrival dates and check-in process.

Once you arrive on campus, you will go to the Housing Office in Governors Hall.  Once it is confirmed you have submitted a negative COVID-19 test result, you will have your OneCard and meal plan activated and you can then go to your residence hall to move in.  As a new residential student you will be able to have one guest assist you with moving in as long as this guest also has a copy of negative COVID-19 test results.  Other guests can remain outside the residence halls.

If you do not provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to your arrival on campus or if you don’t have a record of a negative COVID-19 test result, you will not be allowed access to the residence halls until proof of a negative COVID-19 test is provided. Until that time, you will need to make arrangements to stay off campus at your expense, or return home until the appropriate COVID-19 documentation is received. Neither your OneCard access nor your meal plan will be activated until you have met the appropriate COVID-19 testing requirements.

Students who test positive prior to arriving on campus must isolate at home or elsewhere for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to campus.

A few of you have asked, what if I’ve already had the virus and have now recovered or what if I have access to take the vaccine prior to returning to campus, do I still need a negative test?  Negative test results are required for every resident student unless an exemption is given by Student Health and Counseling.  Please contact them for specific questions at 828-251-6520.

We hope this added precaution will reinforce our commitment to our UNC Asheville community expectations and our continued low prevalence of COVID-19 throughout the spring semester.

Please keep in mind that other protocols including face covering requirements, social distancing, and hand washing are still in place for spring semester.  Also we will continue with our modified guest policy where only residential students are allowed in the residence halls for  the spring semester.   As mentioned above the only exception to this is one guest allowed for move in and they must also have negative COVID-19 test results.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We look forward to having you on campus this semester!

Update: Jan. 7, 2021

(Message to continuing residential students)

Dear UNC Asheville Resident Student,

We sincerely hope you have had a restful and enjoyable break!  We are writing to update you and give you more information on the required testing protocols prior to your return to the residence halls.

As we prepare for the Spring Semester, we continue to closely monitor the public health conditions in our city, region, state and country in consultation with UNC System leaders and our leadership partners at MAHEC, Mission Health, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, the Buncombe County Department of Health Public Health, and the superintendents of the Buncombe County School System and the Asheville City School System, and with other colleges and university leaders in Western North Carolina. The health and safety of all members of our campus community is our highest priority.  The most current information can be found at coronavirus.unca.edu.

Here is a recap of the information that was sent out at the end of last fall as well as new and additional information.

In the interest of public health and in accordance with UNC System guidance, UNC Asheville will require all residential students to provide documented medical proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering or moving into the residence halls in January. We believe this provides the best opportunity for a safe environment on campus as we begin the spring semester.

Prior to your return to the residence halls, you must provide documented medical proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival back on campus in order to be given access to your residence hall and for your meal plan to be activated. Both PCR and rapid test results are acceptable.   If you haven’t already scheduled an appointment or made plans for your test please contact your primary medical provider or local health center.  The following link may help you identify health providers in your area: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

The test results may be submitted in the three following ways:

  • uploaded to your confidential health portal through Health and Counseling
  • emailed to covid@unca.edu
  • hard copy brought with you when you check-in to your residence hall

Once you’ve been tested, you should quarantine at home to await your test results before returning to UNC Asheville to resume living in the residence halls.

For continuing students, you can move back into the residence halls between 9am-4pm Saturday, January 16, Sunday, January 17, or Monday, January 18.  Please complete this link to let us know which date you plan to return.

You may select whichever date works best for you, but please remember you must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival on campus. If you have received approval to arrive early because of a University requirement, you will receive additional communication about your arrival dates and check-in process.

Once you arrive on campus, you will go to a check-in station at your residence hall. Once it is confirmed you have submitted a negative COVID-19 test result, you will have your OneCard and meal plan activated.

If you do not provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to your arrival on campus or if you don’t have a record of a negative COVID-19 test result, you will not be allowed access to the residence halls until proof of a negative COVID-19 test is provided. Until that time, you will need to make arrangements to stay off campus at your expense, or return home until the appropriate COVID-19 documentation is received. Neither your OneCard access nor your meal plan will be activated until you have met the appropriate COVID-19 testing requirements.

Students who test positive prior to arriving on campus must isolate at home or elsewhere for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to campus.

A few of you have asked, what if I’ve already had the virus and have now recovered or what if I have access to take the vaccine prior to returning to campus, do I still need a negative test?  Negative test results are required for every resident student unless an exemption is given by Student Health and Counseling.  Please contact their office for specific questions at 828-251-6520.

We hope this added precaution will reinforce our commitment to our UNC Asheville community expectations and our continued low prevalence of COVID-19 throughout the spring semester.

Please keep in mind that other protocols including face covering requirements, social distancing, and hand washing are still in place for spring semester.  We will also continue with our modified guest policy where only residential students are allowed in the residence halls for the spring semester and guests are not permitted as you are returning to the residence halls.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We look forward to having you back on campus this semester!

Update: Jan. 5, 2021

(Message to all students)

Dear Students,

Happy New Year.  We hope that you have had an enjoyable and restful winter break.  All of us are preparing for your safe return to campus.
As you may know, the cases of COVID have increased significantly at the local, state, and federal levels. In North Carolina this week, we experienced a record high number of cases while hospitalizations continue to grow.  This is a concern for all of us as we look to resume classes on January 19th.

The CDC states that it may take up to 14 days for an individual to develop symptoms once they are exposed to COVID.  It is important for each of us to monitor our symptoms and stay home if we are feeling sick.  We want to minimize the spread of COVID across campus as students arrive from all over the state and country.

According to the CDC:

  1. The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
  2. If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions such as wearing a face covering and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others.

We ask that you consider this information when participating in activities over the next 2 weeks.  It has been determined that engaging in specific activities will put you at a higher risk for contracting COVID.  These activities include:  dining at a restaurant, going to bars or night clubs, hosting a gathering or party, using community gyms, and traveling away from home.  Since the primary spread of COVID is person to person, the likelihood of getting COVID is reduced when these activities are minimized.

In the interest of our campus community, we are asking you to consider this information and take steps to minimize your exposure to COVID before returning to campus. Our goals continue to be ensuring the well-being of students, faculty, and to remain on campus throughout the spring semester.

On-campus students will receive an email tomorrow about testing requirements and move-in. 

Please contact the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at (828) 251-6520, if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Jay Cutspec

Update: August 20, 2020

Dear Students,

Welcome back to the Fall Semester and a new academic year. For those of you who are doing your work remotely, we miss you on campus and look forward to seeing you back in Asheville as soon as possible. For those of you who are on campus, welcome back! I want to take this opportunity to commend you on your very visible compliance with our expectations related to wearing face coverings, socially distancing, hand washing/sanitizing, and symptom checking. Please keep up the good work!

As we begin to see universities open around the country, we are also seeing an increase of COVID cases on many of these campuses. There are several campus characteristics which may contribute to the spread of COVID. These characteristics include such things as the number of students enrolled, capacity of the residence halls, geographic size of campus, average class size, and others. We are off to a great start here, and your leadership and caring for others has already made a huge difference in making this a safer campus. However, it has become clear that one of the major contributors to the spread of COVID on any campus is off-campus parties where the number of people in attendance does not allow for social distancing given the space available. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that individuals are eating and drinking which makes mask use either inconsistent or non-existent.

We are asking all students to reconsider planning and attending events where the number of people present is too large for the space. The current Governors Order limits crowd sizes to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.  However, an appropriate number of people is directly related to the size of the venue. Some spaces are not large enough for a gathering of 10 people. Individuals should be able to comfortably stay six feet apart and the area should be well ventilated. Please use good judgement when socializing indoors. Outside events are safer than indoor events, as long as social distancing is possible and you are wearing a face covering.

Our ability to continue with on-campus classes is directly related to everyone’s commitment to minimizing the spread of COVID. One action we can all take is to carefully consider the risks associated with parties and get-togethers that we host and attend.

Thank you for the good job you have already done, and thank you in advance for your responsible decision making as we continue this semester together.

Go Bulldogs!
Bill Haggard, Ed.D.

Update: August 17, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty and Staff Colleagues and Students,

As many of you are aware, UNC Chapel Hill has moved all of their undergraduate instruction online for the rest of the fall semester beginning Wednesday, August 19. UNC Chapel Hill is also reducing the capacity of their residence halls and taking other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on their campus.

This decision was reached by UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and UNC System President Peter Hans in consultation with the UNC Board of Governors. President Hans issued a statement late this afternoon:

The decision to adapt operations applies to UNC-Chapel Hill only because no other UNC System institution has reported information, at this time, that would lead to similar modifications.”

UNC Asheville will continue our current format of a combination of in-person, hybrid and online courses.

UNC Asheville faculty, staff and students have just completed our first week of classes with a combination of in-person, hybrid and online courses, and we want to applaud every member of our community for doing their part to follow established health protocols. It is vitally important that we continue to demonstrate this diligence. All students, faculty, and staff must continue to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing, not just here on campus, but in off-campus settings as well. We encourage everyone to wash hands and to use hand sanitizer frequently, and certainly after touching shared surfaces. Taking personal responsibility and enforcing community health standards to mitigate the virus are essential for the success of all of us this semester and for the protection of public health in our region.

Each campus is unique, and we expect situations to evolve differently based on reliable public health data and prevailing local health conditions. We will continue to stay in close contact with the UNC System and the chancellors at the other UNC System institutions as we continue to fulfill our core educational mission. We will also closely monitor the regional health department’s advice and testing protocols, and we will continue to work closely with our student health ambassadors, as well as our MAHEC partners and medical service providers.

Here at UNC Asheville, the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases stands at three as of 5 p.m. today. This information will be updated by 5 p.m. daily (Monday-Friday) starting tomorrow. We are working with the UNC System on additional reporting criteria and the webpage will be modified as needed throughout the semester.

Again, we thank everyone for your individual and shared commitment to our University community-wide expectations with virus mitigation as our top priority. We are especially grateful for the hard work of our physical plant and housekeeping staff for their extraordinary great work in keeping our shared spaces clean and safe for living and learning.

We as an academic community have a unique opportunity to demonstrate our resilience during these challenging times due to our university size, scale, location, faculty and staff quality and energy, student leadership, campus culture of care for one another and commitment to strong partnerships with local, regional, statewide, and national health experts and partners.

We are so proud that so many in our midst have taken responsibility for — and ownership of —the UNC Asheville community expectations for the benefit of us all.

With ongoing gratitude,
Chancellor Cable and Provost Campbell

Update: July 23, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty, Staff and Students,

On behalf of the UNC Asheville Statement of Community Care Working Group of faculty, staff, student, alumni, and parent representatives, please find attached two design options for the UNC Asheville Expectations of Mutual Respect and Care For All.

These individual and community-wide expectations clearly outline five virus mitigation tactics to support the health and safety of everyone on campus. Five companion expectations are also outlined for the University to support this effort.

Given the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect each and every member of the UNC Asheville community to follow rigorous self-care for all health and safety protocols throughout the fall semester.

For further information about UNC Asheville’s Fall 2020 Plan including additional virus mitigation and health protocols, please visit coronavirus.unca.edu. The community expectations can also be found on the website: https://coronavirus.unca.edu/return-to-campus/community-expectations/.

A sincere thank you to the Working Group for weeks of deeply engaged and thoughtful conversations that helped shape these expectations: Clifton Bush, Janet Cone, Sonya DiPalma, Shannon Earle, Kenya Smith Edwards, Melanie Fox, Bill Haggard, Tom Hand, Susan Clark, Sarah Humphries Nazionale, London Newton, Jordan Perry, Copland Rudolph,

Jasmine Taylor, and Ethan Tressler.

Thanks,
Sarah Broberg
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication and Marketing

 

Update: July 21, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel due to the widespread, ongoing transmission of COVID-19 worldwide (see Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice). The current CDC guidance is to stay home for 14 days from the time you returned home from international travel. During this 14-day period, take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing. Use this temperature log to monitor your temperature.
  2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
  3. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Given the reality of this pandemic, and that virus mitigation cannot be guaranteed, we expect each and every member of the UNC Asheville community to practice rigorous self-care for their protection and  respect of every member of our community.

Following CDC recommendations, including staying home if you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is crucial for the health, safety and well-being of our campus community, particularly for those who may be immunocompromised or in other high-risk categories.

Students with questions about reporting travel plans, please contact Jay Cutspec, Director of UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center at jcutspec@unca.edu. Faculty and staff may contact Human Resources at hr@unca.edu.

Jay Cutspec, Director of Health and Counseling
Heather Parlier, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Institutional Equity and General Counsel

 

Update: June 16, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Faculty, Staff, and Students,

After eight weeks of hard work by many staff and faculty across campus, several UNC Asheville Senior Staff members (Chancellor Cable, Provost Kai Campbell, Vice Chancellor John Pierce, Athletic Director Janet Cone,  and Vice Chancellor Heather Parlier) presented the UNC Asheville Fall 2020 Plan to UNC System Office senior leaders including President Bill Roper, Academic Affairs VP Dr. Kimberly van Noort, System CFO Clinton Carter, Interim Chief Operating Officer Pete Brunstetter, Chief Strategy Officer Andrew Kelly and Dr. Roper’s Chief of Staff Chris McClure.

Our presentation of the UNC Asheville Fall 2020 Plan took approximately an hour with time for questions and discussion. We received very positive feedback on all aspects of our plans including in-class instruction, collaborative and inclusive work with community partners including MAHEC and the five other residential public and private higher education institutions, our proposed health and safety protocols, support for employees’ phased return to work, and our humane and supportive approach to employees who request to remain online for the fall due to health concerns. We also discussed with Dr. Roper and his team our plans for the first day of classes on August 10 with a conclusion to our fall semester on November 20. We received full support to proceed and special commendation for our intention to focus on three key themes in our curriculum and co-curricular opportunities of addressing structural racism, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparation for and results of the US presidential election of 2020.

Following our presentation to the UNC system leaders, this plan was also presented to the UNC Asheville Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, UNC Asheville Staff Council and UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.

Attached is the UNC Asheville Fall 2020 Plan and a narrated Executive Summary. Due to the ever-evolving nature of the impact of COVID-19, ongoing research relative to public health and UNC system guidance, we anticipate that this plan will be reviewed weekly over the coming months and is likely to be revised by mid-July. Please read both the executive summary and the full report to ensure a thorough understanding and that we are all clear about the shared expectations regarding community standards for health and safety.

Please join us for a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, June 18 at 12 noon for a review of this plan and to ask any questions you may have. You will receive an invitation to the Virtual Town Hall later today.

All of us who have worked together on this plan for fall 2020, especially those of us who serve on the senior staff, deeply appreciate your dedication to UNC Asheville and your hard work and patience on behalf of the University during this challenging moment for us all.

Respectfully,
Chancellor Cable
Provost Campbell

Update: May 22, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

We write to inform you that UNC Asheville senior leadership, in consultation with members of our campus community, including Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Staff Council leadership and SGA leadership, as well as key leaders across the city, county, state, and medical community, has determined that our Fall 2020 semester will open on Monday, August 10 and end on Friday, November 20.

We continue to work on all details related to our intention to resume in-person instruction for Fall 2020 including adopting best-in-class, highest-quality protocols for virus mitigation that prioritize the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community.

We will share more details in our next Virtual Town Hall on Friday, May 29 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. Please refer to your email (Subject: Update on resuming in-person instruction for Fall 2020) for the Zoom meeting link. Submit your questions prior to the virtual town hall using this Google Form or ask them in the Q&A during the virtual town hall.

Be well, Bulldogs,

Chancellor Cable
Provost Campbell

Update: May 18, 2020

(To students and staff)

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Congress passed the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Aid that provides $6.3 billion in direct support to institutions. UNC Asheville was awarded $3.36 million for institutional support and student assistance; half of that amount ($1.68 million) has been designated specifically for CARES Act Emergency Grants for students who are experiencing unexpected expenses or financial hardships that are directly related to changes in campus operations due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act Emergency Grants are intended to cover a student’s expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including, but not limited to the following:

    • Food;
    • Housing, such as having to move off campus when residence halls closed;
    • Course materials;
    • Healthcare;
    • Childcare;
    • Technology-related expenses, such as having to purchase a computer when the student’s courses are moved online; and
    • Transportation, such as having to secure a flight to return home because classes were cancelled, residence halls were closed, or having to return from study abroad when the program is cancelled.

A team of University leaders has developed a plan for how this money will be distributed to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students. Priority will be given to those students identified as having the highest need based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The estimated total number of UNC Asheville students eligible to participate in programs under section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under section 18004(a)(1) of the Cares Act is 2,248 (of the 3,375 students enrolled in Spring 2020). In particular, this includes:

    • Students enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester;
    • Students who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process and have a valid form on file.
    • Students eligible for funding under a Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Information about the University’s method for awarding CARES Act Emergency Grants can be found on UNC Asheville Financial Aid webpage and in the student resources section of coronavirus.unca.edu Students who are awarded CARES Act Emergency Grants will receive the funds directly by direct deposit or check. The money will not be applied to any outstanding balances owed the University.

Students who are not eligible to receive funds from the CARES Act can apply for assistance from the UNC Asheville Student Emergency Fund.

More information about the grants posted on the UNC Asheville Financial Aid webpage and in the student resources section of coronavirus.unca.edu. For questions related to student aid from the CARES Act Emergency Relief Aid, please email the UNC Asheville Office of Financial Aid at cares@unca.edu.

Sincerely,
Shannon C. Earle
Chief of Staff & Interim Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

 

Update: May 11, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

With the guidance of the UNC System leaders, UNC Asheville expects to resume in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester if public health conditions allow. We at UNC Asheville are working closely with the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, local and state health departments, with our key healthcare partners at MAHEC and Mission Hospital, and with other colleges and university leaders in Western North Carolina.

We are examining various models to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community. Every scenario for our classrooms, laboratories, artistic spaces, residence halls, library, Highsmith, and every space on campus will preserve the in-person experience within a flexible, high-quality and student-centric academic focus that is at the heart of everything we do at UNC Asheville.

As we evaluate the budget scenarios for the Fall 2020 semester, we are moving to a time of budget oversight and budget constraint through the end of the academic year, some of which may continue through the remainder of the calendar year or beyond.

There are still many unanswered questions, but we plan to clarify semester start and end dates, health protocols and class schedules within the next several weeks to finalize and confirm – together with our community partners – best practices that mitigate the virus spread and safely allow us to return to in-person instruction with best practices to support a healthy academic community. We will provide frequent updates as we work through this process.

The Spring 2020 semester provided us with unique challenges as well as opportunities. We expect the Fall 2020 semester will do the same. We will get through this together, with our spirit of collegiality and collaboration, and will re-engage as an academic community in a way that honors our historic strong reputation for high-quality collegiate experiences for our students and a safe environment for our faculty and staff.

Thank you for everything each of you continue to do to support our students, each other and our community at this time.

Gratefully,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost

Update: May 1, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

Based on the results of a survey of our Class of 2020 graduating seniors, the decision has been made to plan for an in-person UNC Asheville Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 1 beginning at 9 a.m. on the University Quad if public health conditions allow.

We will welcome and honor Dr. Patrice A. Harris, president of the American Medical Association as our Commencement speaker, who was chosen as the UNC Asheville Commencement speaker last October 2019. Dr. Harris will also receive an Honorary Degree and the Chancellor’s Medallion, the University’s highest distinction, given to honor individuals who demonstrate the highest commitment to community service, and national leadership.

As is customary during the University’s spring graduation ceremony, this special August Commencement for the Class of 2020 will include the bestowing of three additional honorary degrees to leaders who have given exceptional and dedicated service to UNC Asheville, the state of North Carolina and to our nation.

  • Dr. Luther E. Barnhardt is a retired radiologist and physician, founder of Western Carolina Radiology, who has supported UNC Asheville through philanthropy and volunteer board leadership including serving on the Board of Trustees. Dr. Barnhardt is a past recipient of UNC Asheville’s Chancellor’s Medallion.
  •  Mr. Lou Bissette is an attorney, president at McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A., who has served Asheville as its mayor, and has served the UNC as chair of the Board of Governors and as a trustee at Western Carolina University and Wake Forest University.
  • Dr. William H. Turner is a distinguished American historian and author, and a pioneer in research, documentation, and writing about the history of Africans Americans in Appalachia. He is the co-editor of the book, Blacks in Appalachia, and is a leader who has served UNC Asheville with public lectures on campus and in Asheville during the annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia scholarly conference and community gatherings in the last several years.

Commencement for the UNC Asheville Class of 2020 will be held in accordance with national and state public health decrees regarding group gatherings and social distancing in effect at that time, and will happen only if public health conditions allow. We will work on the numerous programmatic, logistical and other issues throughout the spring and summer, including that only a limited number of guests will be allowed to attend the ceremony. We will provide updates by June via email and will frequently update the UNC Asheville website closer to August 1.

Congratulations to the UNC Asheville Class of 2020! We are so proud of you and look forward to celebrating your accomplishments in person as public health conditions allow in August. These difficult and uncertain times will pass and we look forward to this special occasion to honor your academic and leadership accomplishments together!

Best regards to each of you,
Chancellor Nancy J. Cable
Provost Garikai Campbell

Update: April 29, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

UNC Asheville has been notified that a UNC Asheville employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has not been on campus since last Thursday. We have undertaken all necessary health and safety measures and feel confident that there is no risk to the campus as a result of this particular case. The employee is currently managing treatment and self-quarantining at home for the appropriate amount of time based on North Carolina Department of Health guidelines. We are working with the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services on contact tracing.

We urge every member of our campus community to use their best judgement to make responsible personal decisions with regard to the health and well-being of everyone. Please visit UNC Asheville’s coronavirus website for resources and ongoing updates.

Thank you.

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor

Update: April 7, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

This update is to share the good news that the UNC System is working on prorated refunds for housing costs and dining plans. The System will calculate refunds from March 16 which is the date students were required to vacate campus if they were not approved to remain in the residence halls through an exception process.

Over the next few weeks, UNC Asheville and UNC System leadership will be coordinating the timing and implementation of this decision. The System will move as quickly as possible on this process, and more detail regarding the refund schedule will be shared as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor

 

Update: March 30, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

During a special meeting of the UNC Board of Governors today, Interim President Bill Roper announced that the UNC System is committed to pro-rated reimbursements of housing and dining that have been unused as a result of the University System’s rapid response to COVID-19.

The chief financial officers at each institution are all working together with the UNC System Office to ensure uniformity of processes and calculations for determining refund amounts.

“It is our commitment to all UNC System students to get this done as quickly as possible. It is our obligation to North Carolina taxpayers to get this done right,” explained Dr. Roper.  “We hope to be able to announce specifics for processing and issuing refunds in the upcoming weeks,” concluded Roper.

We will provide updates on the reimbursement process as details become available.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 26, 2020

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

Below are updates as of March 26, 2020:

  • UNC Asheville has been notified that a UNC Asheville student who lives off campus has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The Buncombe County “Stay Home – Stay Safe” declaration, effective 8 p.m. today through 6 a.m. April 9, does not significantly impact the way UNC Asheville is currently operating.

UNC Asheville has been notified by the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services that a UNC Asheville student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student has not been on campus since March 6, and we are confident that there is no risk to the campus as a result of this particular case. The student lives off campus and is currently managing treatment and self-quarantining for the appropriate amount of time based on North Carolina Department of Health guidelines.

In accordance with privacy laws and University policy, we will not release any additional identifying information about this person.

We understand that this is concerning news. However, with an increase in testing, additional confirmed cases may be reported in our region. Please know that, in partnership with the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, we will provide updates regarding additional positive cases among members of our campus community. You are encouraged to remain vigilant in protecting your health and the health of others.

Students who are not feeling well and have COVID-19 symptoms including fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath) should contact UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520. Students who test positive for COVID-19 should contact Jay Cutspec, Director of the Health and Counseling Center at jcutspec@unca.edu. Employees who believe they may have COVID-19 should contact their health care provider. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, please contact Human Resources at hr@unca.edu to understand your leave options.

You can continue to protect yourself by practicing standard measures for good health (including hand-washing, hydration, getting adequate rest, nutritious food, and other measures of self-care). Clean and disinfect your space at home and other areas you frequent.

Yesterday Buncombe County issued a “Stay Home – Stay Safe” declaration effective today, Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. through Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 6:00 a.m., but will be regularly reviewed and evaluated which may lead to revision, amendment or extension. You can find details of the declaration here.

The Stay Home – Stay Safe declaration does not significantly impact the way UNC Asheville is currently operating. As required by the UNC System, UNC Asheville is open and operating as per University Condition 1. For the purpose of the declaration, “Essential Businesses” as it relates to educational institutions, including UNC Asheville, is defined as follows:

Educational Institutions facilitating distance learning. Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions that are needed or appropriate for continuing operations or addressing the public health emergency, provided that social distancing is maintained to the greatest extent practicable. Each educational institution shall determine its essential functions and the employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions.

All Businesses may maintain Minimum Basic Operations. For purposes of this declaration, Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the greatest extent feasible, while carrying out such operations:

  1. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue work remotely from their residences, for example one employee going to the office for administrative work so that all others may continue to work remotely.

For questions related to this declaration as it relates to UNC Asheville, students should contact at reslife@unca.edu or 828.251.6700, while employees should contact Human Resources at hr@unca.edu.

We urge every member of our campus community to use their best judgement to make responsible personal decisions with regard to the health and well-being of everyone. Please visit UNC Asheville’s coronavirus website for resources and ongoing updates.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 24, 2020

Chancellor Cable, Provost Campbell and members of UNC Asheville’s senior staff answered questions from students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. Watch the video.

Update: March 20, 2020

  • Given the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, remote instruction has been extended through the end of the semester.
  • As announced by UNC System President Dr. Bill Roper today, spring commencements across the System will be postponed. We understand the incredible importance of this milestone and event. We will work hard to develop a way to celebrate either virtually or in person, if at all possible, at a later date. Thank you for your understanding as we formulate a plan regarding dates and other related issues.
  • The UNC System has indicated that decisions about refunds for housing and dining fees, which are in their discretion, will be postponed until at least April or until we are beyond the immediate issues facing us with mitigating the spread of the virus.
  • Chancellor Cable, Provost Campbell and the University’s Senior Staff will host a virtual town hall for faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, March 24 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. An invitation with the video link will be shared on Monday.

Thanks for your continued patience during this time of uncertainty. We continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Please know that currently there are no known cases at UNC Asheville.

We want to answer three of your most frequent questions: the duration of online or remote course instruction, spring Commencement and reimbursements.

Online or Remote Course Instruction

Given the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, remote instruction has been extended through the end of the semester. Students engaged in dissertation, thesis or other individualized instruction should contact their faculty advisor/instructor. The Provost’s Office will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Commencement

UNC Asheville is committed to holding commencement for our spring graduates at some point, though the timing of the event is unclear given required efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We understand the incredible importance of this milestone and event. We will work hard to develop a way to celebrate either virtually or in person, if at all possible, at a later date. We will share additional information as soon as it is available; we understand the need for a confirmed decision, in terms of planning, travel, accommodations, etc.

We deeply regret the impact this situation is having on our students and their families, and on our employees and their families. We share in your distress, and we will offer whatever support we can as we continue to navigate the circumstances. Thank you for your understanding as we formulate a plan regarding dates and other related issues.

Reimbursements

The UNC System has indicated that decisions about refunds for housing and dining fees, which are in their discretion, will be postponed until at least April or until we are beyond the immediate issues facing us with mitigating the spread of the virus. We will not have any additional information to share with you until that time.

Virtual Town Hall

Chancellor Cable, Provost Campbell and the University’s Senior Staff will host a virtual town hall for faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, March 24 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. An invitation with the video link will be shared on Monday. The virtual town hall will include time for Q&A; please submit your questions on this Google Form. We will also monitor the chat for additional questions, but we may not get to all of them depending on the volume.

As a reminder, to answer additional questions from faculty, staff, students and their families, alumni, and the public, UNC Asheville has established an Emergency Operations Call Center that operates from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 828.255.7250. You will also find the most updated University FAQ related to COVID-19 by visiting coronavirus.unca.edu.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide frequent updates as the situation unfolds.

Thank you,
Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 18, 2020

  • Beginning 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 through at least April 6, Highsmith Student Union, Brown Dining Hall, certain residence halls where approved students with qualified exceptions reside, and the Health and Counseling Center will be the only facilities open on the UNC Asheville campus and access will be restricted to faculty, staff and students.
  • Faculty and staff will have access to their buildings and offices by their usual means. If you do not have a key or other access to your building and need access, please contact your supervisor or department chair.
  • Beginning Monday, March 23, Highsmith Student Union hours will be Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.

We know that this is a time of great uncertainty, with significant and unprecedented challenges for many. Thank you for your resilience as we navigate this uncharted course together.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Please know that currently there are no known cases at UNC Asheville.

For the health and well-being of our campus community, beginning 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 through at least April 6, Highsmith Student Union, Brown Dining Hall, certain residence halls where approved students with qualified exceptions reside, and the Health and Counseling Center will be the only facilities open on the UNC Asheville campus and access will be restricted to faculty, staff and students.

All other facilities, including Ramsey Library, the Student Recreation Center, and Justice Center will be closed at least through April 6. If necessary, faculty and staff will have access to their buildings and offices by their usual means. If you do not have a key or other access to your building and need access, please contact your supervisor or department chair. Online access to Ramsey Library resources can be found at http://library.unca.edu/az.php.

Beginning Monday, March 23:

  • Highsmith Student Union hours will be Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.
  • Brown Hall will be open only to faculty, staff and students during the following meal times:
    • Breakfast from 8 – 9:30 a.m.
    • Lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Dinner from 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Residence Halls will remain accessible only to the residents of those halls.
  • The Health and Counseling Center hours are Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Students can call the free After-Hours Support Line – Bulldog Health Link at 1.888.267.3675 anytime from 5 p.m. – 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday 24 hours/day.
  • All other buildings on campus will be accessible to those who work in those spaces with their UNC Asheville One Card.
  • All outdoor facilities are still open to the public and public transportation operated by the City of Asheville will still continue the typical bus route through campus.

The University routinely uses cleaning products designed to reduce the spread of many diseases. Additional cleaning of all student life, academic and athletics facilities is undertaken during spring break every year. This year, the University has undertaken additional cleaning of those facilities and public spaces on campus with EPA-registered hospital disinfectants that consistently used to prevent the spread of viruses, including the one that causes COVID-2019.

For employees working on campus and for everyone, please follow CDC guidelines to help protect yourself from COVID-19 including washing your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily, and practicing social distancing.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. For questions about the impact of symptoms or the virus on their work environment, contact Human Resources at 828.251.6605.

To answer additional questions from faculty, staff, students and their families, alumni, and the public, beginning Monday, March 16 at 8 a.m. the UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Call Center will operate from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The number is 828.255.7250. You will also find the most updated University FAQ related to COVID-19 by visiting coronavirus.unca.edu.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide frequent updates as the situation unfolds.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 16, 2020

Please note the Buncombe County COVID-19 testing sites are no longer operating as of March 20.

Buncombe County Health and Human Services will begin operating two drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites, starting Tuesday, March 17. Testing sites will be located at Biltmore Church in Arden and at UNC Asheville off of W.T. Weaver Boulevard.

Update: March 15, 2020

  • UNC Asheville remains open as required by the UNC System.
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to close all K-12 public schools statewide for two weeks starting March 16.
  • Every employee should plan to work remotely whenever possible. Mandatory personnel should discuss options with their supervisors.
  • UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Call Center will operate from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 828 255 7250.
  • You will also find the most updated University FAQ related to COVID-19 by visiting coronavirus.unca.edu.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Please know that currently there are no known cases at UNC Asheville. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time as we navigate this evolving situation. As required by the UNC System, UNC Asheville is open and operating as per University Condition 1.

Yesterday North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to close all K-12 public schools statewide for two weeks starting March 16. We continue to monitor guidance from the UNC System Office.

Given the closure of all K-12 public schools in North Carolina, below are the guidelines for both mandatory and non-mandatory University personnel according to the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources.

Mandatory Employees are employees who are required to work during an emergency event, including a public health emergency because their positions have been designated by the University as mandatory to operations during the emergency. You have been notified by your supervisor if you are designated as a mandatory employee and of the requirement to report for or remain at work in emergency situations, or to work from home or other alternative location as deemed appropriate. If you do not know if you are a mandatory employee, please contact your supervisor. Additional employees may also be designated to work if needed due to the length of the emergency, illness of mandatory employees, or other needs.

When the UNC System Office or UNC Asheville is open but a non-mandatory employee is required to stay home with a qualifying parent or child because of the closure of a day care facility, public school, or eldercare facility, the non-mandatory employee may, with approval of their supervisor, be allowed to work at home or elect to:

  • use vacation leave,
  • use bonus leave,
  • use sick leave,
  • use compensatory leave,
  • take leave without pay, or
  • make up time in accordance with the parameters for making up time during adverse weather.

The UNC System Office or UNC Asheville may extend the make-up time to 24 months if necessary. The UNC System Office or UNC Asheville has the right to request appropriate documentation to substantiate need.

We encourage every employee – both faculty and staff – to make the best decision for you and your family when deciding to work on campus or remotely. Again, we encourage every employee to work remotely whenever possible. Mandatory personnel should discuss options with their supervisors.

In the interest of public health and to help minimize the spread of the virus, please do not bring children to campus. We understand this is a difficult time for many and we urge every member of our campus community to use their best judgement to make responsible personal decisions with regard to the health and well-being of everyone.

In this time of uncertainty, please extend extra appreciation to our fellow colleagues who have no choice but to work on campus due to the nature of their jobs as critical personnel.

For employees working on campus (and everyone), please follow CDC guidelines to help protect yourself from COVID-19 including washing your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily, and practicing social distancing.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. For questions about the impact of symptoms or the virus on their work environment, contact Human Resources at 828.251.6605.

To answer additional questions from faculty, staff, students and their families, alumni, and the public, beginning Monday, March 16 at 8 a.m. the UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Call Center will operate from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 828 255 7250. You will also find the most updated University FAQ related to COVID-19 by visiting coronavirus.unca.edu.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide frequent updates as the situation unfolds.

We know that this is a time of great uncertainty, with significant and unprecedented challenges for many. Please know that we will make every effort to support the diverse needs of our faculty and staff as we navigate this uncharted course together.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 11, 2020

  • Spring Break will be extended by one additional week.
  • UNC Asheville will remain open as mandated by the UNC System.
  • Course instruction will resume on March 23, but will move from in-person to remote delivery through at least April 6. In many cases, remote delivery will mean online, but you will hear details about your particular courses sometime during the next week.
  • We encourage students to refrain from returning to campus and to continue their course instruction online from a location of their choice.
  • Campus events of more than 50 attendees are canceled effective immediately. Visiting speaker events will be canceled or postponed.
  • University-sponsored travel outside the State of North Carolina or within the State to gatherings of 50 or more people, is suspended unless prior written authorization to travel is given by the Chancellor or the Provost. This prohibition includes student organizations.
  • Any students, faculty and staff who elect to engage in personal travel to any Level 2 or Level 3 country will be expected to self-quarantine off-campus for a minimum of 14 days and not return to campus unless they are free of symptoms.
  • Please check the Health and Counseling website for updates.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Please know that currently there are no known cases at UNC Asheville. Today after a briefing from UNC System leaders, the following University leaders met to assess our situation and plan for our responses (Chancellor Cable, Provost Campbell, Bill Haggard, Heather Parlier, Janet Cone, Darin Waters, Shannon Earle, Sarah Broberg, Laura Herndon, Melissa Himelein, David Weldon, and Jay Cutspec).

Per the most recent mandate from the UNC System, UNC Asheville will extend spring break by one additional week. No academic instruction will be offered the week of March 16.

All courses will transition from in-person instruction to remote delivery beginning March 23. In most cases, this will mean online delivery. At the current moment, this will extend to at least April 6. Details about each course will be determined next week.

For the health and safety of our community, we are currently developing protocols for those returning to campus. We recognize that some students will need to return to campus, so the campus will be open, including residence halls and Brown Hall, Ramsey Library and Health and Counseling. However, we strongly encourage all students to remain off campus until further notice.

Those students who elect to engage in personal travel to any CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 countries and have symptoms including fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath) should self-quarantine off campus for a minimum of 14 days and contact Jay Cutspec, Director of UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center at jcutspec@unca.edu.

Any faculty or staff electing to engage in personal travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries should self-quarantine off campus for a minimum of 14 days and contact Christy Williams, Associate Director of Human Resources at cwilliam@unca.edu.

On campus events or University-organized off campus events of more than 50 attendees are canceled effective immediately and event organizers will postpone, cancel or explore virtual options for any University-affiliated event of more than 50 people both on- and off-campus until further notice. In the interest of public health, we actively discourage anyone from attending any event of more than 50 people to help mitigate potential exposure to COVID-19 and protect the health of our community at large.

University-sponsored travel outside the State of North Carolina, or within the State to gatherings of 100 or more people, is suspended unless prior written authorization to travel is given by the Chancellor or the Provost. This prohibition includes student organizations.

We all have a responsibility to act in the interest of the common good. The health, well-being and safety of our community is our top priority. Any actions we are undertaking are to mitigate the health risk to our entire community.

As a reminder, any students, faculty and staff who elect to engage in personal travel to any Level 2 or Level 3 country will be expected to self-quarantine off-campus for a minimum of 14 days and not return to campus unless they are free of symptoms. This includes situations in which the level rises to 2 while on the trip. This is crucial for the health and well-being of our campus community, particularly for those who may be immunocompromised.

For the most recent and accurate updates on COVID-19 please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus-2020.html

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide frequent updates as the situation unfolds.

Update: March 10, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

You may have seen that North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency today in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). This type of declaration is typically issued before an emergency occurs to free up state resources, alter state regulations and change authorities within state government to allow for a quicker response. It does not mean there is imminent danger to the university community.

UNC Asheville is in close contact with local, state and System officials. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you,

Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor
Garikai Campbell, Provost
Bill Haggard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Update: March 4, 2020

  • The health and well-being of our campus community is our top priority.
  • First identified case of COVID-19 in North Carolina on March 3. No reported cases of COVID-19 at UNC Asheville.
  • Any member of the campus community that elects to engage in personal travel to any CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 country will be expected to self-quarantine off-campus for a minimum of 14 days and not return to campus unless they are free of symptoms. This includes situations in which the level rises to 2 while on the trip.
  • Faculty and staff traveling to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries should report their travel as soon as possible before travelling to Christy Williams, Associate Director of Human Resources at cwilliam@unca.edu.

On March 3, a person in North Carolina tested positive for COVID-19. The test, conducted by North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. Please know that currently we do not have any suspected cases at UNC Asheville. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Any faculty or staff electing to engage in personal travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries should report their travel as soon as possible before travelling to Christy Williams, Associate Director of Human Resources at cwilliam@unca.edu.

For your reference, students have been asked to report their personal travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries over spring break as soon as possible before travelling to Jay Cutspec, Director of UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center. That information will be shared with Provost Campbell who will communicate with individual faculty members regarding academic plans for the time those returning students self-quarantine off campus. This case-by-case handling by Provost Campbell will help facilitate the process given the specifics of each situation.

As a reminder, any students, faculty and staff who elect to engage in personal travel to any CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 country will be expected to self-quarantine off-campus for a minimum of 14 days and not return to campus unless they are free of symptoms. This includes situations in which the level rises to 2 while on the trip. This is crucial for the health and well-being of our campus community. Further information will be forthcoming pending guidance from the UNC System as soon as possible.

For questions about reporting travel plans, please contact Christy Williams, Associate Director of Human Resources at cwilliam@unca.edu.

For questions about academic plans for students returning from travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries, please contact the Provost’s Office at provost@unca.edu.

Update: March 2, 2020

  • The health and well-being of our campus community is our top priority.
  • No reported cases of COVID-19 at UNC Asheville or in North Carolina.
  • Any students, faculty and staff returning from CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries are being asked to self-quarantine off campus.
  • UNC Asheville is prohibiting University-related travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and Level 3 countries for COVID-19 and will not reimburse travel to these areas.
  • Any students, faculty or staff scheduled to travel to CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 countries are strongly encouraged to reconsider and make alternative plans.

We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus) and, as anticipated, things are rapidly changing. This is an evolving situation and we will know more day-by-day, week-by-week, led by state and national authorities. There are no reported cases at UNC Asheville or in North Carolina, and the risk to campus remains low at this time. However, UNC Asheville and University partners (County Health Department, State Health Department, UNC System, other local health agencies, Mission Hospital, among others) are planning ahead and are prepared to respond should the need arise.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. We urge every member of our campus community to use their best judgement to make responsible personal decisions with regard to the health and well-being of everyone.

The President of the UNC System held a call today with Chancellors and senior leaders to discuss several cross-cutting issues that will require constant conversation including a number of questions related to HR policies regarding leave, study abroad currently in progress and programs planned for the summer, already planned international and domestic meetings, discretionary travel shift to electronic formats if possible, and future University events.

We are closely monitoring travel guidance, restrictions and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State. We are directly assisting students, faculty and staff who are traveling or have plans for international travel for University-approved educational or business reasons. Any students, faculty and staff returning from CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 countries are being asked to self-quarantine off campus. This is crucial for the health and well-being of our campus community. Further information will be forthcoming pending guidance from the UNC System as soon as possible.

Given the rapid spread of COVID-19, and to help ensure the ongoing health and safety of the University community, effective immediately UNC Asheville is prohibiting University-related travel to CDC-designated Level 2 and Level 3 countries for COVID-19 and will not reimburse travel to these areas. Until otherwise notified, this travel restriction applies to CDC-designated Level 2 and Level 3 countries as well as any additional countries the CDC designates as Level 2 or Level 3 moving forward.

As UNC Asheville nears spring break, we encourage everyone in the campus community to remain informed, be aware of current restrictions and consider all options when making travel plans. Any students, faculty or staff scheduled to travel to CDC-designated Level 2 or Level 3 countries are strongly encouraged to reconsider and make alternative plans.

Again, we care about the health and well-being of everyone and we encourage everyone to use their best judgment so as not to endanger the rest of the campus community. We remain vigilant and will continue to work closely with public health officials should we encounter any suspect illnesses.

For those with upcoming travel plans, please review the CDC’s country-specific travel health notices for updated information and advice. Travelers should also check with airlines and embassies, as government authorities in Asia, Europe and elsewhere are imposing further restrictions on travelers.

If a student has traveled internationally or has been around someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 AND has a cough, shortness of breath, or fever, they should call the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520 – before coming to the clinic in person – so we can maximize treatment effectiveness while reducing the potential risk of exposing others. Faculty and staff should contact their medical provider.

Visit the CDC website for the most reliable and current information regarding COVID-19.

Visit the World Health Organization website for basic protective measures against COVID-19.

We will provide frequent updates on this page as the situation unfolds.

Update: Feb. 27, 2020

As we continue to carefully monitor the current outbreak of the coronavirus in China and other parts of the world, please note that we do not have any suspected cases of COVID-19 at UNC Asheville. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and congestion, shortness of breath, and flu-like symptoms, such as fever.

The Health and Counseling Center continues to monitor the CDC advisories for screening and care of patients who meet the risk criteria. According to the CDC, healthcare professionals should test patients for COVID-19 if they meet BOTH of these criteria:

  • Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath)

AND

  • Any person who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient within 14 days of symptom onset; or history of travel to the Hubei Province or mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset.

If a student meets these criteria, the Health and Counseling staff would follow the CDC guidance in treating and testing for the virus and immediately contact the Buncombe County Health Department for further guidance. We are also equipped with the necessary supplies needed for proper evaluation and testing.

Resources

  • For general questions, contact the Health and Counseling Center at 828.251.6520.
  • For faculty and staff who have questions about the impact of symptoms or the virus on their work environment, contact Human Resources at 828.251.6605.
  • Visit the CDC website for the most reliable and current information regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the World Health Organization website for basic protective measures against COVID-19.