UNC Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University will cancel fall break and end their fall semester classes before Thanksgiving. The measures are among many new protocols aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Officials at both schools have announced plans to hold in-person classes beginning in August. The move presents social distancing challenges on many fronts. Additional sections of courses will be offered to reduce class sizes. And discussions are currently underway to find new classroom locations and implement strict face-covering rules.
UNCG Chancellor Franklin Gilliam says dealing with these issues requires hours of planning and meetings. Deciding to cancel fall vacation was comparatively easy.
"Once the decision was made to bring the students back to campus, it seemed fairly logical that we didn't want to send them away on Thanksgiving break to destinations unknown and then have them return to campus for a few weeks to take their exams," says Gilliam.
In terms of housing, the UNC system has issued guidelines allowing for double occupancy of rooms. Gilliam says several adjustments will have to be made due to COVID-19.
"In the older residential halls with communal showers and sinks, that will be monitored and scheduled, and other rooms that have sinks that will be taken into account," says Gilliam. "With our newer apartment-style facilities we will be very strict about who enters. That means limiting outside guests."
Gilliam adds that the school will also be converting dining halls to primarily take-out. Plans are underway for setting up additional dining locations on campus to prevent large cafeteria gatherings where COVID-19 might more easily be spread.
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