Chancellor Gaber has established changes to prevent COVID-19 from spreading at UNC Charlotte, including daily symptom screening surveys and mandatory flu shots.
Starting Sept. 7, UNC Charlotte has sent electronic Niner Health Checks every day to students, faculty and staff to complete. According to Emergency Management, “The screening is intended to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care and guide whether you should come to campus each day.”
There is a penalty for those who forego the Niner Health Check. Beginning Oct. 12, anyone not completing the health check as required will have their NinerNet credentials suspended until the assessment is done. If the Niner Health Checks are not filled out continuously, there will be reminders sent to you and then your Niner Credentials will be suspended. This will prevent access to university email, Canvas, Kronos and all other systems using NinerNet credentials, according to Emergency Management.
In an email to the Niner Times, a communication studies professor said “I understand the need for them and, if I was on campus, I would want to know everyone had completed their checks. However, I'm not on campus at all, so I find it odd that I have to complete them every day.”
An exception form has been provided to those who are eligible, including those on long-term leave or those living outside the 30-mile radius of UNC Charlotte's campus.
Griffin Leger (‘24) says “I’m okay with [the Niner Health Checks]. They take less than five minutes—simple questions.”
Katie Allen (‘23) also commented about the mandatory Niner Health Checks, saying “I think that they’re a very easy, quick way for the school to keep in touch. I think that most people should be answering them honestly and it only takes 30 seconds. It’s a way for people to reflect and if they haven’t noticed symptoms, it’s a good way for them to think, ‘Oh, maybe I am experiencing some of these symptoms’ if they didn’t already recognize that.”
According to the Niner Nation Cares website, one of the newest installments is the mandate that all those who are able must get a flu shot and fill out the attestation before Nov. 16. If students, staff or employees have not completed the attestation, their NinerNet account will be locked until they do so. Some individuals may be granted an exception.
There are many ways to get a flu shot. Students and staff can receive their flu shot off-campus at a providing location or they can receive their vaccination on campus. UNC Charlotte is working with Publix to provide flu shots on campus, and students, faculty and staff will receive a $10 gift card with the vaccination. Stations will be set up on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Student Union Room 340 and Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lucas Room.
When asked about the mandatory flu shots, Allen told the Niner Times, “I think it’s a little silly to make everyone get flu shots but I do understand why because it is one less thing for them to factor out whenever they’re trying to figure out if you have COVID or some other disease.”
On Oct. 12, UNC Charlotte released a Niner Notice with an incentive for taking these mandatory precautions. The University is offering four chances to win $1,000 in credits on your 49er account. To be eligible, students, faculty and staff must have completed 75% of their Niner Health Checks from Oct. 12 through Nov. 16, which equates to 27 out of the 36 days. They must also have received their flu shot or claimed an exception.
“Wearing a face covering, following physical distancing guidelines and completing the Niner Health Check are not suggestions. They are requirements, and they will be enforced for the protection of our community,” said Chancellor Gaber.
Correction: This article was edited to clarify that only those UNC Charlotte staff and students who are able to receive a flu shot must get one.