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UNC System to test unvaccinated students, staff weekly

All campuses will operate under a ‘Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly’ requirement for students, faculty and staff.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The UNC System has announced it's COVID-19 testing protocol for the upcoming fall semester.

"This fall, all campuses will operate under a ‘Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly’ requirement for students," Norma Houston, chief of staff of the UNC System Office, said in a statement. 

This week, UNC System President Peter Hans will announce a "Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly" standard that will apply to faculty and staff as well. 

"Chancellors have full authority to implement these measures as best meets the unique circumstances and conditions of their campuses," Houston said.

In guidance, sent to UNC Charlotte students Wednesday, Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said unvaccinated students need submit a negative COVID-19 test ahead of the start of classes. In addition, these students are required to complete weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing. Students living in residence halls will also be required to participate in "wastewater-based surveillance testing."

"I implore you to get vaccinated," Gaber wrote. "It is the most effective way to end this pandemic and associated restrictions — as individuals, as a campus and as a community at large. Vaccination provides protection from getting the virus and significantly reduces your chances of developing severe symptoms if you do have a breakthrough case."

Failure to comply with these requirements "will result in a loss of NinerNet credentials and could result in further disciplinary action."

Those already vaccinated have to submit a form to be exempt from the "daily Niner Health Check" and testing. To encourage vaccinations, UNCC will also host two on-campus Pfizer vaccine clinics on Aug. 19 and Aug. 25.

As previously announced, face coverings are required for anyone in indoor spaces at UNCC regardless of vaccination status. The university said there would be "rare exceptions" to the requirement like when students are in personal residence hall rooms or when employees are in their personal offices.

Gaber said these changes are in place until further notice.

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