COVID-19 updates for the spring semester

Dear Campus Community,

I hope that each of you have had a healthy, safe and joyful holiday season. My wish for everyone is a productive start to the new year, and that 2022 is filled with opportunities to achieve your goals and be your best selves. While we enter the new year with hope and optimism, one of our greatest challenges remains in front of us, which is the threat of COVID-19. The pandemic continues to be a highly fluid public health emergency that we, along with leadership at other UNC institutions and the UNC System Office, continue to monitor. I am writing to share some important updates as we approach the start of the spring semester, particularly as we face the rise and spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. 

Studies show that the Omicron variant, while more transmissible than Delta, is substantially milder than other variants, especially for vaccinated and boosted individuals. We are grateful that most UNCSA students and employees are fully vaccinated (94% and 93%, respectively), among the highest vaccination rates in the UNC System. 

Over the past 12 months, together, we have successfully demonstrated our ability to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 in our community. While we know that due to the Omicron variant we will likely have a higher number of positive cases in the coming weeks, we remain confident that we can provide a safe environment and work through the challenges.

We have heard consistently from many students, parents, faculty and staff about the value they place in an on-campus living and learning environment and the importance of in-person instruction, particularly for the kind of hands-on training we provide at UNCSA. As such, it is our commitment to continue to provide the safest residential learning experience for our students.

At this point, we have received about 25% of tests from our community ahead of the Jan. 10 deadline. Please submit your test results if you have not already done so. In addition to the testing requirement, we’re updating the following protocols, which are in alignment with guidance from the CDC, NC DHHS and the UNC System, to begin the spring semester safely.

  • In addition to our existing indoor mask mandate, masks will be required for all instructional activities during the first week of classes, with no exceptions.
  • Deans have the flexibility to make instructional adjustments for the first week of classes based on curriculum needs, safety and resources. Working with faculty, they will determine which classes and activities will be in-person, hybrid and online. Faculty will notify students directly about any temporary changes to modes of instruction.
  • Aramark will begin reducing the density and capacity of the dining hall seating and focus on grab-and-go options for the first 10-14 days of the semester.
  • Students living in campus residence halls and apartments will not be permitted to have visitors in their rooms until further notice.
  • Quarantine and isolation protocols have been updated based on guidance from the CDC, NC DHHS and the UNC System. 

We must remain vigilant in following our Community Health Standards to stay healthy this semester. Vaccines and boosters are still the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants from emerging. 

In the third academic year impacted by the global pandemic, I know it can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that we are still facing these challenges, and that all of you want more than anything to have a “normal” UNCSA experience. It is our goal to provide that, as safely as possible. UNCSA has, so far, been fortunate to accomplish our mission on campus while still keeping our community safe in the process, and we commit to continuing to do so with your help. 

Please visit for our COVID-19 dashboard and additional information about our response to the ongoing pandemic. 


Brian Cole

January 06, 2022