Campus Emails

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 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.