Dear UNCG Families,
The health and safety of the UNCG community is of utmost importance. As a parent myself, I am sure you have many questions regarding the University’s response to the quickly changing circumstances related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). I write today to share important information about our response and resources that are available to you as the situation evolves.
Current Status of COVID-19 in our Community
There are no known cases of the virus on our campus or in the larger Greensboro community. Seasonal flu (influenza virus) does remain common, however, and we are reminding members of the campus community to practice good personal hygiene (hand-washing, staying home if you are sick). These same practices also help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are, in general, good to observe all the time. Please help us by reminding your students to follow these practices.
Emergency Response Planning
UNCG has a well-established emergency management program that has been activated to monitor the situation, stay in close touch with local, state, and federal health authorities, and develop plans should the Coronavirus emerge on campus or in our immediately surrounding community. In addition, many members of my senior leadership team are engaged in conversation with their colleagues across the UNC System. We also are fortunate to have access to significant expertise in communicable disease through our colleagues at UNC Health Care.
UNCG Student Health Services, Student Affairs, and our Emergency Management team are intensely focused on ensuring we are well prepared for this issue. Our staff is trained, deeply connected with local, state, and national resources, and prepared to support our students. Additionally, our ongoing response to the virus includes several aspects, such as:
- Enforcement of travel restrictions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Implementation of a 14-day, off-campus self-quarantine period for students returning from study abroad in, or others returning from travel to countries designated as high risk by the CDC (Level 2 or 3). If your student is among this group, please help us emphasize the importance of this. It is critical that all returning students are clear and accurate about any travel that has occurred over Spring Break so we can effectively support your individual needs. Please note that this is essential to protecting community health. Any student who does not accurately represent their travel or who violates the protocols above will be subject to discipline through the Student code of conduct.
- Development of alternate plans for completion of face-to-face coursework via virtual methods should this become necessary.
- Development of an easily accessible website.
- Creation of a mechanism to submit questions (Please be aware that we will respond as soon as possible.)
- Ongoing consideration of future study abroad and other University-led trips.
- Participation in routine briefings by the CDC, local, and state health departments, and the UNC System.
- Monitoring of campus cleaning and disinfecting effort.
In the Event of a Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Case
The Guilford County Public Health Department, in conjunction with the NC Division of Public Health, will lead the response should a case of COVID-19 be suspected or confirmed within our campus community. This response would include isolating the individual and identifying others who may have been in direct contact so they can be quarantined and monitored for symptoms.
We are working hard to maintain a safe, productive, and supportive learning environment for our students. We recently reminded them that it is perfectly understandable to feel uncertain or anxious when information is changing rapidly, but that those feelings also make us more vulnerable to allowing assumptions, stereotypes, and soundbites to influence our decision-making. Please help us by encouraging your students to be thoughtful about both the information sources they rely on, and their assumptions about and reactions to others.
Should significant changes regarding the functioning of our campus or programs occur, we will communicate with you and your students as soon as possible.
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.