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UNCC confirms 2 COVID-19 clusters as doctors strongly encourage students get vaccinated

This is the first time UNCC has reported a cluster since Dec. 17. As cases start to rise, doctors say they're seeing more younger people hospitalized.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UNC Charlotte reported two COVID-19 clusters Monday, marking the first time the university has reported such instances since December. 

University officials said one cluster involves six students living in off-campus housing. The other involves five students who live on campus. A cluster is defined as five or more cases that are linked. 

UNCC said the students are isolating and receiving appropriate medical care. The school is in the process of notifying all close contacts to begin quarantine and receive necessary testing.

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College campuses are the number one culprit of COVID-19 outbreaks in North Carolina, with 279 clusters since last May, according to state health data. The increase in cases is problematic and doctors are continuing to urge students and younger folks to get a vaccine when you can. 

"We're starting to see more of our hospitalized skew younger," Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said.

"This isn't over," Dr. Karla Robinson with Urban Housecall said. 

Robinson said although some students are getting their vaccine, others aren't as interested

"I think part of it again is that invincibility complex and not really thinking that this is a big deal," she said. 

On campus, some students weren't surprised to hear about the new clusters. 

"The campus is still popping off, things are still going buck wild," senior Caleb Stanslab said.

UNC Charlotte continues to encourage students and staff to get COVID-19 vaccines, but it's not mandated. 

They're trying to spread with word on social media platforms and with educational videos about the vaccines in their "COVID-19 Vaccine Fact vs. Fiction" campaign. 

Starting April 7, anyone over the age of 16 can get a vaccine in North Carolina. UNC Charlotte will hold another vaccine clinic on campus on April 12. 

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan.