Dear community of Caroline,
We are delighted to welcome you back to Carolina, and it’s nice to see the campus teeming with students, faculty and staff busy teaching, learning and supporting the University’s mission every day. To date, we have more than 27,000 students and more than 13,700 faculty and staff who have certified that they have been vaccinated. Today we’re sharing several updates to the Carolina Together Testing (CTTP) program as well as the cluster notification process.
First, we set a record number of tests at the Carolina Together Testing Center at Carolina Union in one day this week, performing over 2,000 tests on Monday, August 30, and over 6,500 tests last week. Our positivity rate from August 23 to 30 was 2.45% for asymptomatic testing via CTTP and 8% for symptomatic testing at Campus Health, which is lower than the current daily positivity rate of 14.5% in Carolina North.
Compared to the summer session, the increase in testing volume and the prevalence of the delta variant means that our number of cases has increased. We are encouraged by the decrease in our positive cases shown in the first tests this week, and we will continue to monitor these trends. We are working closely with the University leadership and the Mitigation Strategies Roadmap Implementation Team, and we are all ready to make changes to our approach to help limit the spread. virus.
Currently, the University requires that unvaccinated students be tested at the center twice a week, and starting September 15, unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested once a week. People identified as close and asymptomatic contacts can get tested at the center. Additionally, from time to time we ask college dorm students to proactively get tested when we have multiple cases in a specific area.
We do not recommend testing more than once a week if you are asymptomatic, vaccinated and not considered close contact. COVID-19 community standards and contact tracing requirements are all important needs for the CTTP, and we need our resources and staff, largely volunteers at the center, to focus on those needs. The center is open and available to asymptomatic vaccinated students, faculty, and staff for voluntary testing, and we have seen very few, if any, positive cases of truly asymptomatic vaccinated people who are not close contacts. People with symptoms, regardless of their immunization status, should be tested at Campus Health for students and your health care provider for faculty and staff.
If you have received a positive test result, please do not continue testing at CTTP. Testing is not recommended for 90 days after a confirmed positive test, and further testing does not decrease your isolation time.
Update: cluster notifications
When the University started the cluster notification process last August, our country was in a very different situation with the virus, and as we’ve all adjusted over the past year, we’ve also changed the way We’re keeping our campus up to date with clusters, moving from emergency Alert Carolina notifications to social media notifications last fall. We have once again evaluated how we provide these notifications, and after consulting with the Orange County Department of Health, we will now update the Carolina Together dashboard with all clusters in residences and the fraternity and sorority houses as well as the number of new cases each day of the week. and provide a regular CTTP email summarizing the latest test and cluster information.
As a reminder, when clusters occur, close contacts are informed through the tracing process. Residents of the lobby or specific floors of the lobby who receive the email from Carolina Housing and Campus Health inviting them to proactively test at the Carolina Together Testing Center are urged to do so as a precaution, not as a close contacts.
Labor Day, Monday September 6, is a university holiday and the CTTP center will be closed. If you need symptomatic testing that day, Campus Health will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekend charges have been waived. Since this will be our first long weekend of the semester, be careful and continue to follow COVID-19 community standards even when you are off campus. Also, monitor your return for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested at Campus Health if symptoms occur.
We are happy and encouraged to see so many people test regularly. These efforts continue to protect your health and safety and the health and safety of others, especially with the continued spread of community in our state and community. As we’ve said before, the best action you can take is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and protect yourself by wearing a mask indoors, so please continue to follow these guidelines every day.
The Carolina Together testing program
This post is sponsored by: Carolina Together Testing Program