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UNCA unveils reopening plans for fall semester, Aug. 10-Nov. 20
Wednesday, 01 July 2020 22:51

From Staff Reports 

UNC Asheville announced June 16 that its students will return to campus for the fall session on Aug. 10.

In-person instruction and on-campus living will again be offered after the entire UNC system closed its campuses March 11 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the school noted.

In conjunction with the announcement, UNCA officials stressed their plan to take iCOVID-19 precautions that include self-checking for symptoms before coming to campus, wearing face coverings while on campus, and maintaining social distancing whenever possible.

The fall session will end Nov. 20, with no fall break, except for one day off — Sept. 30.

The schedule will start the semester about a week earlier than usual and end it about two weeks earlier, “given scientific evidence that it is best for colleges and universities to start early and end early to avoid a second wave of the virus and limit concurrence with flu seasons,” UNCA spokeswoman Sarah Broberg said.

The UNCA fall semester schedule aligns with those of UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State University, which will also start Aug. 10 and end before Thanksgiving.

In the announcement, signed jointly by UNCA Chancellor Nancy J. Cable and Provost Garikai Campbell, UNCA officials stated, “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...

“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,” Cable and Campbell said.

Besides outlining safety protocols for faculty, staff, students and visitors, the announcement notes that UNCA also has begun the installation of plexiglass partitions and sneeze guards in select areas, and work has begun to place cues such as floor decals, signage and colored tape to indicate where to line up or walk to maintain social distancing.

The document also includes COVID-19 safety guidelines that include staggering schedules; alternating schedules to have only partial on-site density at any one time while others participate remotely; and reconfiguring spaces by moving furniture or adding barriers to allow for physical distancing.

Western Carolina University in Jackson County will open Aug. 17, as will Brevard College in Tranyslvania County, while Mars Hill University in Madison County will open Aug. 18. 

All three of the schools — WCU, Brevard College and MHU — will follow COVID-19 safety protocols, the schools have announced.


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