On July 2, the University released a Niner Notice informing the UNC Charlotte community of coronavirus-related updates for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester including the official announcement of mandatory face masks.
According to the notice from the University, in accordance with the state and UNC school system officials, everyone on campus will be expected to wear a face covering that fully conceals the nose and mouth when inside campus buildings, regardless of whether physical distancing is observed.
Niner Nation Cares, a new University website aimed at educating students and families on how COVID-19 will affect student life, details several precautions that UNC Charlotte will take in order to reduce the spread of the virus, including changes to dining, housing and class attendance. Dining halls will require face masks unless students are actually eating. Housing will remove furniture from lounges to reduce meetings of large groups of people, install sanitation stations and require the use of masks in hallways and common areas. In class meetings, masks will be required unless an exception is granted by the professor and only for purposes such as answering a question, participating in a discussion or presenting to the class.
While students are expected to provide their own face coverings, masks will be distributed to students and staff in a welcome back package from the University. They will also be available for purchase in vending machines. As of now, it is unclear what will happen if masks are not worn. Provost Lorden told Student Government members in a meeting on May 12 that professors can ask students who forego masks to leave class; however, there has not yet been an official statement about the consequences.
The Niner Nations Cares page states that the Student Health Center is “well-prepared” for evaluating students with COVID-19 related symptoms and has the capability of testing when appropriate. The University also has dorms dedicated to being potential quarantine zones for any student living on campus to quarantine. Testing programs are also in the works for faculty and students.
As many students are checking their classes and finding most of them to be online, the University projects that methods of course delivery will be finalized sometime in late July. Another email will be sent when class schedules are completed.
For more information, the University is scheduling virtual information sessions for students and their families before the start of the academic year on Sept. 7.