After a spike in COVID-19 cases during the first week of classes, the University of North Carolina will shift all undergraduate classes to remote learning, though student-athletes can remain on campus.
UNC started its fall semester of classes on August 10 – one week ago today. A press release from the school says that currently, 177 students are in isolation and 349 in quarantine after a “significant rise in positive COVID-19 tests” last week. The school’s coronavirus dashboard shows that the number of positive tests exploded from 10 the week before classes started to 130 last week.
An announcement today says that the school will shift to fully remote learning Wednesday and work to “greatly reduce residence hall occupancy.” But a few groups will be allowed to remain on campus: student-athletes, international students, and students without reliable internet access.
UNC’s move comes a week after Stanford announced it would start the year with a mostly virtual program of remote learning. It appears that Stanford student-athletes will also be able to remain on campus and train, even while school is conducted virtually.
The start of school years (both at the college and grade school/high school levels) has forced schools, conferences and athletic programs to make multiple difficult decisions on academic and athletic programs. UNC competes in the ACC, which is one of six top-level college athletics conferences still planning to compete in fall sports (dubbed “The Stubborn Six” by Sports Illustrated writer Pat Forde). It’s unclear if the move to remote learning will have any impact on UNC’s college football schedule this fall.