Updates

My SA
Updates

Read the university-related messaging regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and responses to the impact on UNCSA's students, parents, faculty and staff.

October 2020

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Updates about case counts appearing on our dashboard since the last communication regarding the cluster of five COVID-19 cases in the undergraduate Drama program on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Another positive student test in the college Drama program was reported on Thursday, Oct. 15, and was posted on the COVID-19 dashboard on Friday, Oct. 16.

Today, Monday, Oct. 19, one student from the college Drama program is reported as recovered, leaving a total of five active college student cases in Drama.

Last week, three staff members from different departments were confirmed as active cases on Thursday, Oct. 15. Yesterday, Sunday, Oct. 18, a fourth staff member from another different department received a positive test. Contact tracing was initiated on all except one staff member who had been teleworking and had not been on campus. All positive staff cases and close contacts are isolating and quarantining at home.

Today’s new active staff case will not appear on the dashboard until tomorrow because the data is retroactive.

As a matter of confidentiality, UNCSA will never identify specific students or employees who have tested positive, consistent with the State Human Resources Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as other privacy considerations.
 
UNCSA is conducting contact tracing with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and following protocols established by the CDC to identify individuals who might have had exposure and need to be tested and quarantined. As of this time, 20 students are in reserved quarantine beds, down from 22 on Saturday, Oct. 17. We have expanded our current capacity to 37 beds. Exposure is defined as being within six feet of a person who is infected, masked or unmasked, for 15 minutes or more. 
 
On Friday, Oct. 16, StarMed tested 129 students, faculty and staff through previously scheduled surveillance testing. Results will be available no later than Tuesday, Oct. 20, and posted on the UNCSA COVID-19 dashboard.
 
Students, faculty and staff can visit their app store (Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android) to download the SlowCOVIDNC app to assist with contact tracing.

Please continue to encourage all members of your school or division to adhere to our Community Health Standards that require wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing or using hand sanitizer frequently, wiping down high-touch surfaces, and performing a daily self-screening.
Eating together unmasked is a known risk for transmission and has been mentioned during contact tracing. Please be aware that all round and square outdoor tables in Daniels Plaza, Library, Library Cafe and outside of Hanes Commons have a maximum capacity of two people. Do not move furniture in the cafeteria or Pickle Jar as it is intentionally distanced for your safety. Off-campus gatherings have also been referenced during contact tracing; please avoid gathering in groups as much as possible and always remain masked. If violations occur, please address them as quickly and safely as possible and then file a report.  

Student Health Services’ standard hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Testing for symptomatic students is available from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The primary focus of expanded weekend hours is the evaluation and testing of students sick with symptoms of COVID-19. 
 

Updates about case counts appearing on our dashboard since the last communication regarding the positive high school student case on Monday, Oct. 5.

Today, one undergraduate student received positive COVID-19 test results. On Friday, Oct. 9, two undergraduate students received positive test results. Friday's results are posted on the COVID-19 dashboard today. Today’s new active case will not show up on the dashboard until tomorrow because the data is retroactive.
 
As a matter of confidentiality, UNCSA will never identify specific students who have tested positive, consistent with the State Human Resources Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as other privacy considerations.
 
UNCSA is conducting contact tracing with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and following protocols established by the CDC to identify individuals who might have had exposure and need to be tested and quarantined. As of this time, 19 students are in reserved quarantine beds. The current capacity is 22 beds, but we have identified additional space if needed. Exposure is defined as being within six feet of a person who is infected, masked or unmasked, for 15 minutes or more. 
 
On Friday, Oct. 9, StarMed tested 201 students, faculty and staff through previously scheduled surveillance testing. Results will be available no later than Tuesday, Oct. 13, and posted on the UNCSA COVID-19 dashboard.
 
Students, faculty and staff can visit their app store (Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android) to download the SlowCOVIDNC app to assist with contact tracing.

Please continue to encourage all members of your school or division to adhere to our Community Health Standards that require wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing. Eating together unmasked is a known risk for transmission and has been mentioned during contact tracing. Please be aware that all round and square outdoor tables in Daniels Plaza, Library, Library Cafe and outside of Hanes Commons have a maximum capacity of two people. Do not move furniture in the cafeteria or Pickle Jar as it is intentionally distanced for your safety. Off-campus gatherings have also been referenced during contact tracing; please avoid gathering in groups as much as possible and always remain masked. If violations occur, please address them as quickly and safely as possible and then file a report.  

Student Health Services’ standard hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Testing for symptomatic students is available from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The primary focus of expanded weekend hours is the evaluation and testing of students sick with symptoms of COVID-19. 
  

UNCSA has not had a positive student COVID-19 case on campus since move-in week. This notification is being sent because this is the first positive student case that involved potential exposure. In the future, all information about case counts will only be posted on the UNCSA COVID-19 Dashboard. Please note: dashboard data is retroactive, data from Oct. 5 will be posted by 5 p.m. tomorrow. 

A student in the high school program received a positive COVID-19 test result today. The student has been quarantined since Friday, after learning they had off-campus exposure to an individual positive with COVID-19. Contact tracing is being completed by UNCSA Health Services and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. Three students that have been in close contact, as identified through contact tracing, have also been quarantined. If it is determined that additional individuals were exposed, they will be notified through contact tracing. 
 
As a reminder, our routine surveillance testing will be Friday, Oct. 9, from 1-4 p.m. All testing is optional; no one is required to be tested, but your participation is strongly encouraged to help keep our campus safe. Student Affairs will send information for sign up later this week.
 
UNCSA will not broadly communicate details about individual positive cases, consistent with the State Human Resources Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as well as other privacy considerations.

Dear Campus Community,

As we near the middle of our fall semester, I thought this would be a good time to check in with all of you and thank you for the hard work you’ve been doing to keep UNCSA safe and protect our community. We have been incredibly fortunate to have a low case count at UNCSA to date, and I believe it is thanks to the care of our Pickle community in wearing masks, social distancing and generally looking out for each other. It brings me great pride to see our campus come together in this way. I urge you to continue to stay vigilant in following our Community Health Standards as we continue with our semester.

I’ve visited several classes and have been extremely impressed with the professionalism and dedication that I’ve witnessed. I’m thrilled to see the creativity and innovation that have come together in our reimagined fall performance season, and know how hard you are all at work on making it come alive. This is truly a season like no other.

We have been doing well with our asymptomatic surveillance testing and extending our Student Health Services hours to the weekend in an effort to identify and stop possible outbreaks of coronavirus. I urge you to download the SlowCOVIDNC app that anonymously notifies users of potential exposure without collecting personally identifying information as an additional way to protect our campus; I’ve done so myself.

You may have heard Gov. Roy Cooper announce on Wednesday that North Carolina will go to Phase 3 at 5 p.m. today. That does not mean everything is back to normal. It means that due to stable metrics, the state will cautiously ease some restrictions, particularly on outdoor entertainment venues as well as movie theaters. The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Masks are still required. For more information, see the FAQs on the governor’s website.

Here at UNCSA, we will continue to observe our Community Health Standards, all classroom safety precautions and PPE requirements. We will continue to wear masks, socially distance and wash our hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. We are still here on campus because of the protocols we’ve followed – not because the virus is going away.

The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its eighth month in North Carolina, with more than 210,000 cases, more than 3,500 deaths and more than 900 current hospitalizations. And we’re entering flu season, which will undoubtedly exacerbate the situation. (Don’t forget your flu shot!)

Remember, our success – or lack thereof – between now and Thanksgiving will have an impact on plans for our spring semester. As Fighting Pickles, we must continue to be vigilant in our fight against the pandemic – and the flu.

Thank you for doing everything you can to protect our community and each other. Please check for updates on our Safe Campus webpage and our Coronavirus Dashboard.

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor

September 2020

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Today, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service (NCDHHS) is launching a new exposure notification application – SlowCOVIDNC – to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
 
The app anonymously notifies users of potential exposure to COVID-19. It does not collect or share personally identifying or location information.
 
On campus, SlowCOVIDNC proactively notifies students, faculty and staff about potential exposures and enables you to quickly protect yourself and your community. While you are not required to use the app, the more people who use SlowCOVIDNC on and around campus, the more effective it is in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
 
The SlowCOVIDNC app will provide another way UNCSA students, faculty and staff can stay safe. It will complement our Community Health Standards and protocols and our new surveillance testing program.
 
How it works
The app uses Bluetooth technology to safely and securely track exposure to COVID-19 using your smartphone. Developed by Apple and Google using their latest technology, SlowCOVIDNC connects with other users by exchanging private, random tokens using Bluetooth technology and routinely compares collected tokens against a list of positive COVID-19 cases. It expands our ability to reach and rapidly notify known and unknown contacts.
 
Is it safe?
SlowCOVIDNC never collects or processes any location or personally identifiable information. It also allows you to opt-out at multiple checkpoints.
 
Where to download
Students, faculty and staff can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android.

Learn more by visiting the SlowCOVID19 page on the NCDHHS website and checking out the Frequently Asked Questions, or visit the NCDHHS YouTube channel for a short video.

Dear Campus Community,

As Chancellor Cole announced on Friday, we are pleased to begin a COVID-19 surveillance testing program at UNCSA as an additional way to help keep our campus safe. Surveillance testing allows us to see if there are areas where COVID-19 is popping up, and therefore, whether and where further testing is needed. All testing is optional; no one is required to participate, but participation is strongly encouraged.

Below are answers to questions you may have.

When and where is testing?
The first round of testing will be focused on high school and college students only, and will begin this Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Eisenberg Social Hall of the Hanes Student Commons. Anyone selected for this first round of testing will receive an email with further instructions and an appointment time. Testing will occur every two weeks throughout the fall semester.

Who is conducting the testing?
Our testing program is being conducted in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), which has contracted with Starmount Healthcare Management (StarMed) to administer the tests. About every two weeks, StarMed will administer approximately 150 tests to a randomly selected testing group from our community, both on- and off-campus.

How is the testing group selected?
For the first test, 15% of high school and college students were selected using a randomly generated lottery method within representative cohorts. Students randomly selected for the surveillance testing will have the choice to opt-out. Consent from a parent or guardian is required for high school students to participate in the testing. We strongly encourage students to participate in our surveillance testing program to ensure the entire campus’ safety.
Faculty and staff may be included in testing at a later date.

How will testing work?
About 35 students per hour will be tested. Students will be prescreened by a medical provider before testing. The test will be collected via a nasal swab (officially known as a Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR Nasopharyngeal Swab). Any personal information collected for the test will remain confidential and not used for any other purpose.

How will I receive my results?
Lab results are generally available within 72 hours from the testing date. Students will receive a text message and email with a link to access test results via a secure patient portal.

What happens if I test positive?
Students who test positive will be immediately isolated for 10 days. Positive results will be reported to UNCSA and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. Contact tracing will be initiated for close contacts and known exposures. Students who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive, as determined by county health officials, will be quarantined for 14 days.

Residential students placed in isolation or quarantine will be contacted by a case manager with the location and access information for their isolation/quarantine space. They will be permitted to gather their belongings (wearing a mask) to take to their new space. Isolation/quarantine spaces are equipped with a refrigerator and microwave, access to a private bathroom, bedding and towels, and trash pickup. Student Affairs will deliver meals and check-in daily. Students may continue classes online if they are able. Counseling services are available for all students, including those in quarantine.

Non-residential students will also be contacted by Student Affairs for daily check-ins and to assist with needs that might arise.

Will I be charged for the test?
Testing will be conducted at no cost to individuals or the university. StarMed will bill the student’s insurance for the visit with the medical provider and the COVID-19 test; however, students will not be billed for any costs not covered by insurance. For students who do not have insurance, StarMed will bill the federal CARES Act.  

What if I am having symptoms of COVID-19?
Please note that the university is only testing asymptomatic individuals as part of surveillance testing. If you have symptoms and do not pass the daily self-screening, please stay home and immediately self-isolate. Students should contact Student Health Services at 336-770-3288 to make a telehealth appointment with a medical provider, while employees should notify your immediate supervisor and contact your medical provider. Students experiencing symptoms after hours or on weekends should call HealthLink at 1-888-267-3675. Student Health Services is adding expanded weekend hours to evaluate and test students with symptoms of COVID-19 from Sept. 19-Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Thank you for your cooperation and participation in surveillance testing, which will be another tool for us to help keep our campus safe and running during COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Tracey D. Ford, Ed.D.
Vice Provost and Dean
Student Affairs


Sharon Summer, MSN, MHA/MBA
Director
Wellness Center

Dear Campus Community,

As we end our third week of classes, I wanted to check in with everyone and let you know about some new ways we are working to protect your health and safety on campus during the coronavirus pandemic.

But first, let me begin by acknowledging the great work that everyone on this campus is doing to uphold our Community Health Standards and protocols. I am proud of the way that the members of our community – students, staff and faculty – have come together to protect each other by wearing masks, social distancing, keeping hands and surfaces clean, and doing our daily self-screening. The results we have seen since Day One speak volumes about the special community that we have at UNCSA, and I thank you for your commitment to each other.

However, just because we have a low number of COVID-19 cases on campus does not mean we can relax in any way. As a campus we are doing well in our safety protocols, but we can always do better. In particular we need to see an increased focus on the necessary social distancing in the times when you have to remove your mask, such as while eating – even when outside. We continue to expand the amount of signage around campus to help remind people of this, and we ask that you approach this with renewed commitment. Continuing to follow our Community Health Standards is critical to keeping our campus safe and is the personal responsibility of each person at UNCSA. We are also continuing to look for additional ways to keep our campus safe; following are a few new ways we will be doing that.

Surveillance testing will begin Saturday, Sept. 12
In conjunction with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), we are pleased to be able to begin a COVID-19 surveillance testing program on our campus. DHHS has contracted with Starmount Healthcare Management (aka StarMed), who will be the full-service provider for the program. About every two weeks, StarMed will administer 150 tests to a randomly selected testing group from our community, both on- and off-campus, whether or not they have known exposure or are showing symptoms. There is absolutely no cost to the university or our students, faculty and staff for this testing. Surveillance testing allows us to see if there are areas where COVID-19 is popping up, and therefore, where further testing is needed. The first round of testing will be focused on students only.

New weekend hours at Health Services begin Sept. 19
For increased convenience and service to students, we are expanding the hours of our Student Health Services in the Wellness Center to include in-person service on Saturdays and Sundays. The newly available hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Nov. 22. The primary focus of expanded weekend hours will be evaluation and testing of students sick with symptoms of COVID-19. Students may continue to take advantage of Health Services’ standard hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Telehealth services are available 24/7 by calling 1-888-267-3675.

NC's Phase 2.5 will not change campus restrictions
Gov. Roy Cooper announced the “Safer at Home Phase 2.5” for North Carolina on Wednesday. Most of the modifications he made for businesses do not affect UNCSA. However, for educational purposes, universities do have the ability to maintain certain restrictions at previous levels. So, here at UNCSA we will continue to observe our Community Health Standards, all classroom safety precautions and PPE requirements. Our Fitness Center will remain closed for indoor exercise, using virtual and outdoor classes, at least until after the first round of surveillance testing. You may check for updates on the Fitness Center webpage. If any of these restrictions change, you will be notified.

We are happy to have you back on campus and continuing to teach, learn, create and attend to the ongoing operations of our university. UNC System President Peter Hans has made it clear that operational decisions will be made at each campus based on collaborative discussions between the UNC System Office, campus leadership and public health officials. If data indicates we should change plans and move instruction to an online-only environment, or make other operational or academic adjustments, we will do so without hesitation. However, we have no plans to do so at this time.   

Thank you for doing everything you can to protect our community. Please stay informed by visiting our Safe Campus webpage and Coronavirus Dashboard for the latest updates.

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor

August 2020

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This message is to remind you that updates about additional individual positive COVID-19 cases on campus will only be reported through our dashboard, campuswide emails will not be sent for individual cases after today. The dashboard is updated by 5 p.m. daily to reflect the previous day's data. Contact tracing will be implemented for confirmed cases and those with possible exposure will be contacted on an individual basis.

A UNCSA student who has been quarantined since arriving on campus because of a self-reported potential exposure has received a laboratory-confirmed positive result.

The student has remained in quarantine since the initial check-in and has not had any contact with other students or employees. The student has been and will be followed daily by Case Management and our Student Health Service's medical provider via telemedicine appointments, and will remain in quarantine until at least Aug. 24.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health has been notified. To protect individuals' private health information, UNCSA will not identify or offer personally identifying information about students or employees diagnosed with COVID-19 except as required by law. The university follows confidentiality guidelines and directives outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).

Students, faculty and staff are reminded to complete the daily self-screening assessment and to report any symptoms or exposures to UNCSA Student Health Services at 336-770-3288 (students) and your immediate supervisor and medical provider (employees). Everyone on campus is also required to follow our Community Health Standards.

VIEW UNCSA COVID-19 DASHBOARD

Dear UNCSA Community,

As you may have read, UNC-Chapel Hill announced that their campus will shift all undergraduate instruction to remote learning on Wednesday. This decision was made by the UNC System in consultation with UNC-Chapel Hill leadership, following a significant increase of COVID-19 infection clusters during the first week of classes. Residents who have hardships, international students and student-athletes will have the option to remain on campus. Courses in the graduate, professional and health affairs schools will continue to be taught as they are or as directed by the schools.

Currently, there are no plans to change in-person instruction on any other campus in the UNC System, including UNCSA. Right now, our condition remains stable, and we are continuing to move forward with our plan for hybrid instruction as classes commence this week.

Rest assured that we are continually monitoring our campus and community. If the conditions at UNCSA require a change in plans or approach to instruction or on-campus living, the decision will be made by the UNC System in consultation with UNCSA leadership and communicated as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, thank you for strictly adhering to the Community Health Standards and doing your part to help prevent COVID-19 cases at UNCSA.

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor

UNCSA will closely monitor positive cases of COVID-19 on our campus and report them to our community through a dashboard similar to the one below.

Case counts will be updated daily by 5 p.m. At this time, there are no known active COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus.

ACTIVE ON-CAMPUS CASES
Active campus cases are defined as those where a positive COVID-19 test result has been confirmed and the person is currently isolated.

Students Faculty & Staff Contractors
0 0 0

SEMESTER CUMULATIVE ON-CAMPUS CASES
The following chart shows the total number of cases (including active cases noted above) for the summer and fall semester, beginning July 1, 2020.

Students Faculty & Staff Contractors
0 1 0

This dashboard information does not include individuals who may have or have had confirmed cases but have not reported to campus in the past 14 days or who self-quarantined without a confirmed diagnosis. UNCSA may add additional data and detail to this dashboard as the semester progresses.

All persons determined to have a risk of exposure will be formally contacted individually through our contact tracing process and will be provided additional instruction regarding testing, isolating and quarantining.

To protect individuals' private health information, UNCSA will not identify or offer personally identifying information about employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19, except as required by law. The university follows confidentiality guidelines and directives outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

This email also serves as a notice to our campus that one staff case was reported over the summer, in early July (while the majority of faculty, staff and students were not on campus). Contact tracing was performed, and the positive case did not produce additional cases on campus. Additional cleaning and disinfecting took place. The individual has fully recovered.

Please remember, if you have a fever equal to or more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or any of the symptoms or exposures listed in the Daily Self-Screening Checklist, DO NOT report to work or class. Employees should notify your immediate supervisor and contact a medical provider; students should contact UNCSA Student Health Services at 336-770-3288 for a telemed appointment with a medical provider.


University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that he is extending North Carolina’s Safer at Home Phase 2 an additional five weeks, until at least
Sept. 11.

Phase 2 is part of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. Phase 2 has been in effect since May 22 and was due to expire at 5 p.m. today.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, said the metrics the state uses to analyze the virus’ spread have stabilized; however, both Cooper and Cohen said they would prefer to see cases decreasing.

“The opening of schools and colleges is an important one — education must go on, even in a pandemic,” Cooper noted.

The statewide requirement for face coverings to be worn in public places where physical distancing is not possible remains in effect. Please note that UNCSA requires everyone on campus to wear a face mask as part of its Community Health Standards, and this requirement will be enforced.

In addition, Phase 2 keeps gyms closed; thus, the Fitness Center at UNCSA will be offering virtual and outdoor classes only for the time being. However, keep checking the Fitness Center webpage and My SA for updates.

For more information on fall 2020 plans, see our webpage at uncsa.edu/safecampus.

Returner student move-in and in-person check-in information

On August 12-16, make plans to arrive on campus at your appointment time. Students are staggered by move-in/check-in appointment times and conclude August 16. Everyone should proceed to Parking Lot N on arrival to campus. View schedule information online.


Graduate students - August 12 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Undergraduate students - August 12-16 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
High school students - August 13-14 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Health and safety screening procedure

Students and the two people accompanying them to campus should self-screen before arriving on campus by answering the following questions.

  •     Do you have fatigue, headache, and/or new muscle aches not related to another medical condition or another specific activity (e.g. due to physical exercise)?
  •     Do you feel like you may have chills or a temperature of greater than 100°F?
  •     Do you have sore throat not related to another medical condition (e.g. allergies)?
  •     Do you have a new onset of congestion or runny nose within the last 2 weeks?
  •     Do you have a new or worsening cough that is not related to another medical condition?
  •     Do you have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
  •     Do you have recent (<5 days) loss of smell and taste?
  •     Do you have new onset of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea not related to another medical condition?
  •     Have you had recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?


If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," please do not come to campus. Anyone experiencing symptoms or who have a known exposure to COVID-19 should seek medical evaluation and delay coming to campus until cleared by a medical provider. If you will not be arriving as planned for your scheduled move in/check-in, please contact: 336-770-3281 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. After 6 p.m. contact 336-414-9545.

Everyone arriving on campus will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms by staff. Individuals that do not clear the screening will be asked to leave the campus.

Two people will be permitted to assist each student with move in. Once move in is complete, helpers must leave the campus.

Online health and safety training reminder

Parents and students, please complete the online health and safety training before arriving on campus. Login information was sent on July 20 via email.

If you have any issues logging in, please email orientation@uncsa.edu.


Sincerely,
 
Dr. Tracey Ford
Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs

July 2020

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Dear Staff,

As we near the start of this next academic year, I want to recognize the incredible efforts you have all undertaken this summer to address the myriad details involved in planning our return to campus for the fall 2020 semester. We recognize that these are challenging times, and we are grateful for the creativity and grit you have exhibited as we tackle these unprecedented circumstances for UNCSA.

We will be continuing our phased return to campus over the coming weeks as we approach student move in Aug. 9-16 and classes begin Aug. 17. Although UNCSA is still encouraging telework where possible while North Carolina remains in Phase 2, some positions and departments will require on-campus work as students return and classes begin. Supervisors will share approved schedules and plans for their departments. Cabinet will review department schedules to ensure business integrity and consistency of operations are maintained. This review will also ensure that all areas of campus maintain safe levels of occupancy.

Please read the following carefully:

  • Before you return to campus, you are required to read our new Return to Campus Handbook, which offers details about how we will approach working in this new environment as safely as possible. The guide includes health and safety protocols and guidance for workplace scenarios that have already been shared with you by email and at uncsa.edu/plan. As Chancellor Cole has said, it will take all of us to ensure our community’s health. The guidelines outlined here and in our Community Health Standards are not suggestions; they are requirements.
  • Before you return to campus, you are required to complete COVID-19 Return to Campus training on the new protocols we will be following this fall. Employees who are already working on campus must complete the training by Aug. 7, 2020. Training can be completed on your own via the online training portal KnowBe4 or through upcoming Zoom sessions with HR. All staff will receive an invitation from Susan Porter in Human Resources to complete the COVID-19 Return to Campus training via KnowBe4 later today. If you do not wish to or aren’t able to access the on-demand training, then you will be required to contact Deb Carley to sign up for an HR-facilitated Zoom session. (Note: All students will be required to complete their own training as well before returning to campus).
  • All staff, students and faculty will be required to complete the Daily COVID-19 Screening Self-Assessment (printable PDF) before attending class or coming to work. As a member of the UNCSA community, you must commit to daily self-screenings and complete the COVID-19 Daily Assessment Acknowledgment form indicating that you agree to do the screening every day. To help you establish this as a daily habit, you will receive a daily email reminder that will allow you to confirm that you’ve completed your screening. You can also print the Daily COVID-19 Screening Self-Assessment as a physical reminder to complete the screening. In addition, all staff, students and faculty will receive a plastic pocket reminder card with screening information.
  • If a staff member has concerns about returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic that are related to an underlying health condition, the employee may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation depending on their circumstances.Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, as governed by applicable laws and policy. Please contact Angela Mahoney in HR to learn more about your options.
  • Any staff member who would like to request a flexible work arrangement from their direct supervisor should submit the Teleworking Form. Requests not related to a health condition will be considered according to the procedures in UNCSA Regulation 630 for Flexible Work and Telework.
  • HR will be conducting a Zoom session with supervisors at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 24, to review this information and answer questions. Supervisors will receive an invitation to that Zoom meeting later today.
  • If they have not already done so, department office managers should reach out to Toni Beery to request Return to Campus bags for their departments. The bags contain two cloth masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, a self-screening reminder card and a printed Return to Campus Handbook.

We look forward to seeing many of you in person again in the coming weeks. Together, we will ensure the health and safety of our campus and the continuation of the important work all of you do here at UNCSA.
 
Sincerely,
 
Angela Mahoney


Gov. Roy Cooper has announced that North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions due to COVID-19 in an effort to stabilize trends of increasing viral spread in the state. The current executive order expires today, Friday, July 17.

Phase 2 will stay in effect until at least Aug. 7.

The state monitors several benchmarks, including hospitalizations, positive cases and testing, to determine when North Carolina should lift restrictions.

The governor also announced that the state's K-12 public schools will reopen Aug. 17 with a hybrid of in-person and online learning with an option for all online instruction. The UNCSA high school adheres to UNC System policies and will operate in a hybrid status in the fall, combining in-person and online instruction. The high school follows the UNCSA academic calendar.

The statewide requirement for face coverings to be worn in public places where physical distancing is not possible remains in effect. Please note that UNCSA will require everyone on campus to wear a face mask as part of its Community Health Standards, and this requirement will be enforced.

For more information on "Safer At Home Phase 2," please see the FAQs on www.nc.gov.

Dear UNCSA Community,
I hope that you are safe, well and are finding time to enjoy these summer months, even as we face the significant challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. I remain proud of and grateful for the intense work our faculty and staff have accomplished over the past months to plan for a safe and fulfilling return to campus this fall. Thanks to all who took the time to participate in the recent online information sessions. I hope that you found them helpful. We will continue to answer your questions to the best of our ability.

I want to share some additional fall plans and information for our campus community – specifically, health protocols and environmental safety related to COVID-19, how we will address your important concerns regarding the new guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for international students, and deferred enrollment.

Please visit our newly updated webpage, designed as a central source for information about the Fall 2020 semester. The webpage includes specific information for students, faculty and staff and is being updated regularly. You may continue to submit questions as well. We suggest that you bookmark this webpage and refer to it frequently for updates.

Even as we present these additional plans to you, we remain acutely aware that COVID-19 is an evolving situation. We continue to work with the UNC System and state health and safety experts to monitor the health situation in North Carolina and to plan for all scenarios. We will communicate with you regularly as we receive further guidance from the UNC System or state government. The following are updates since our last communication with you on June 12.

Planning our safe return to campus
UNCSA followed Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and UNC System guidance and partnered with the county health department and local medical organizations to develop health and safety protocols for the upcoming academic year. We also consulted with an infectious disease prevention specialist from UNC Health Care to create health and safety protocols specific to the spaces on our campus and the unique kinds of activities in our training and operations. Detailed health and safety modifications for each conservatory are still being developed and will be posted on the conservatory and academic pages in the Fall 2020 section of our website. In addition to our Community Health Standards, UNCSA will enact the following protocols to mitigate the risk presented by COVID-19 and to keep members of our campus community safe:

New guidance from ICE for international students
On July 6, ICE released guidelines prohibiting international students from remaining in the U.S. if the university is operating in a completely online status. Under the new direction, international students can obtain or retain F-1 visa status for hybrid programs that combine in-person and online instruction.

UNCSA is planning to operate in a hybrid status in the fall, which meets ICE requirements. Also, our teams are working to ensure that international students have the opportunity to participate in the in-person courses necessary to maintain their visa status and remain at UNCSA.

We are working with the UNC System to closely monitor this fluid situation, and will continue to advocate with the federal government for a policy that is more supportive of international students throughout this continuing pandemic. We will continue to provide impacted students with additional information as we learn more. In the meantime, please know we stand with you and are here to support you.

Deferred Enrollment
Some of you have asked whether it is possible to defer enrollment without re-applying or re-auditioning for the 2020-21 academic year. We have heard your concerns and we do not take them lightly. We understand that these are unique circumstances and that you may be apprehensive by the changes necessary for the fall semester. While such changes are common among college campuses across the nation, we know they distinctly impact the arts training we do here at UNCSA.

As we plan for the fall, know that next to ensuring your health and safety, our main objective is to deliver training of the highest quality to prepare our students for professional careers in the arts. We are confident that coming together in person, following guidelines to ensure health and safety, is the most effective way to achieve that. The training you will receive this fall reflects how the arts industries are evolving in this unusual environment, encouraging creativity and allowing the arts to thrive while accommodating the restrictions imposed by the virus.

Because of our unique conservatory structure, UNCSA and other similar institutions do not have the flexibility to guarantee space for a student who wishes to return after taking a year off without negatively affecting the quality and sustainability of the program. The enrollment cycle at UNCSA does not work on an annual basis. Given the cohort model followed by each of our arts schools and our limited class sizes that ensure the highest level of training in our distinctive environment, a blanket voluntary deferral policy is not possible. However, we understand that some of you face substantial challenges in returning related to both medical conditions and increased financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 crisis. Processes exist to help you with a temporary medical withdrawal, financial assistance or other kinds of accommodation. UNCSA is committed to working with you on an individual basis to pursue potential solutions and accommodations. We want to ensure each of you can surmount any obstacles you may face in returning to campus and progressing in your program. Please fill out the Fall 2020 Student Challenges form if you would like to explore potential solutions to any such challenges you are facing for the 2020-21 academic year.

We will be holding additional information sessions at the end of July, and those dates and times will be communicated to you soon. Thank you for your resilience and Fighting Pickle spirit as we face these challenging times, and again, I look forward to seeing all of you on campus in a few short weeks.

Sincerely,
Brian Cole

June 2020

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N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced this week that North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions due to COVID-19 in an effort to stabilize trends of increasing viral spread in the state. Phase 2, which recommends residents will be "Safer at Home," will continue for at least three more weeks beginning today, Friday, June 26 at 5 p.m.

Gov. Cooper also announced a statewide executive order requiring that face coverings must be worn in public places where physical distancing is not possible. Cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

Please note that UNCSA will require everyone on campus to use a face mask as part of its Community Health Standards related to our return to campus, and this requirement will be enforced.

Otherwise, this extension of Phase 2 has no significant impact on our operations at this time. Employees should continue teleworking and remote work arrangements where possible, and only mandatory employees who have been directed by their supervisors to support essential operations should report to campus.
 
As a reminder, following are the key points for Phase 2:

  •     Restaurants can open at 50% capacity for dine-in customers.
  •     Personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, can open at 50% capacity.
  •     Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level.
  •     Mass gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. These limits apply to: event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas; amphitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches.
  •     Day camps and overnight camps can open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.
  •     Bars, night clubs, gyms and indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys remain closed.
  •     Rigorous restrictions remain on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.


The Safer At Home Phase 2 has been extended through 5 p.m. Friday, July 17, unless revised or replaced. For more information on Phase 2, see the FAQs on the nc.gov website.

Dear UNCSA Community,

This summer at UNCSA, we continue to make great strides in preparing for students to be on campus for the 2020-21 academic year. We are looking forward to our Pickle Family being together again while keeping the health and wellness of our campus community as our utmost priority. In addition to the plans below, our conservatories have been working hard, reimagining classes and planning new and innovative ways to share our art forms. We will provide more information about performance and production planning in the coming weeks.

I am pleased to confirm further details about the coming year as a result of the planning work that has been taking place these past weeks. In making these decisions, we have followed CDC, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and UNC System guidelines. In an effort to analyze more deeply the unique aspects of the training and work performed at UNCSA, we also hired an infection prevention specialist, Karen Hoffmann, R.N., BSN, MS, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC, who is a clinical instructor in the division of infectious diseases with the UNC School of Medicine, and immediate past president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, to visit campus and consult with us. Her observations and recommendations will guide us in making the adjustments necessary to maintain the health and safety of our community.

All of the updates and confirmed plans for the 2020-21 Academic Year can be found on our Fall 2020 webpage. Please continue to consult this page for all information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. You may submit questions as well. Below is what is new since my last communication on May 28:

MOVE-IN/ORIENTATION

Orientation for new students and parents will be a hybrid of online modules and in-person sessions. Online orientation will take place July 20-27. Our in-person orientation and move-in period will happen concurrently using a staggered schedule from Monday, Aug. 10, to Sunday, Aug. 16. New and returning students will be required to complete an online training module on health and safety protocols.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

We have confirmed a complete, revised academic calendar for the 2020-21 academic year. Note that the spring semester will begin on Feb. 8. As previously announced, fall semester classes for all students (undergraduate, graduate and high school) will start on Monday, Aug. 17, and end on Thursday, Nov. 19. We will forego the Labor Day holiday and fall and spring breaks. This modified calendar enables UNCSA to maintain the necessary instructional days required to meet our academic standards while limiting travel to help reduce virus exposure.

RESIDENTIAL HOUSING AND DINING

Consistent with UNC System guidance, we are moving forward with standard, double occupancy of residence halls and apartments. However, we are taking some units offline to reduce density and make beds available for those students who require singles because of health issues. We are also reserving some units should we be required to implement any quarantining during the academic year.

Regarding dining services, we are working with our vendor to generate a set of guidelines for safe dining. We will likely eliminate self-service and increase options for take-away. While the cafeteria, Pickle Jar and the Library Café will be open, we will be reducing seating, limiting numbers, and possibly using Eisenberg Social Hall as an overflow dining area.

COMMUNITY HEALTH STANDARDS

As we begin our return, it is essential that we all commit to the actions and precautions we can take as individuals that will protect our campus community. It will require all of us together to keep our community healthy. The primary way COVID-19 spreads is by exhaled droplets by persons in close proximity, so our best hope of preventing the spread is therefore by changing the way we behave. We will expect all members of our community to show care for their friends, peers, colleagues and neighbors.

Here are a few of the guidelines we expect our campus community to adhere to:

  • We expect everyone on campus to wear a mask when around other people unless otherwise officially warranted by practical classwork (i.e., playing a wind instrument). UNCSA will provide masks to everyone on campus and you may bring your own face covering as long as it covers your nose and mouth. If mask removal is required, we expect members of our community to follow additional recommended protocols for safety.
  • We expect everyone on campus to follow institutional guidelines on social distancing at all times unless otherwise officially warranted by practical classwork.
  • We expect everyone on campus to wash hands frequently throughout each day and/or use hand sanitizer. UNCSA will be creating more opportunities for hand hygiene around campus.

We will provide more details and resources on community safety standards as we get closer to the start of the year. Details about on-campus health and safety procedures such as screening, testing and quarantining will also be announced in the coming weeks.

FALL 2020 INFORMATION SESSIONS

We will be hosting virtual information sessions to answer any questions you may have. The schedule is:

  • June 22, Noon to 1 p.m., for Incoming High School Students and Parents
  • June 22, 4-5 p.m., for Current High School Students and Parents
  • June 24, Noon to 1 p.m., for Incoming Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Parents
  • June 24, 4-5 p.m., for Current Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Parents

We will continue communicating with you regularly over the summer with updates and details as they are confirmed. Thank you for your patience, trust and flexibility as we continue to prepare for your arrival. I look forward to seeing you all, in person!

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor

May 2020

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Dear UNCSA Community,

I hope this email finds you well wherever you may be after what was an extraordinary semester at UNCSA. As our thoughts turn to fall 2020, today I am writing to share our intention to welcome students to campus next semester, and the adjustments we are making in order to ensure it is safe to do so.
 
Over the past month the UNCSA leadership team has been working closely with faculty and staff in discussing possible scenarios for the fall. I am proud of the dedicated and innovative work that is underway to rethink the way we deliver instruction as we adapt to the landscape facing not only universities across the country, but the industry for which we prepare our student-artists. 
 
As we think about fall, we are keeping in mind that our primary mission is to train our students for the arts and entertainment industry, and we are making modifications to our instruction for this year that reflect the way that industry is adapting to the current reality. With guidance from industry as well as medical experts, our faculty and staff have been working diligently to develop our courses and experiences as we stay vigilant in protecting the health of our campus and the community at large.
 
As we enter the final stages of our operational planning, we are announcing the following key decisions for the coming year:
 
#1 – Modified Academic Calendar 

  • Classes for undergraduate, graduate and high school students will begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and end on Thursday, Nov. 19.
  • We will forego the Labor Day holiday as well as fall break.
  • On-campus final exams and juries will be conducted Friday, Nov. 20, through Tuesday, Nov. 24, with finals continuing online following the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The duration of winter break will be expanded. 
This plan greatly reduces any need for travel during the middle of the semester, as limiting movement is key for managing virus spread. It allows the institution to avoid bringing students back following the Thanksgiving break, when so many will have traveled home to destinations around the country and the world. This modified calendar also enables us to maintain the necessary instructional days required to meet our academic standards and best serve our students. The final academic calendar, including details for the spring semester, will be announced at a later date.
 
#2 – Hybrid Instructional Model
 
We will adopt a hybrid instructional model for the fall semester. This means maintaining our core in-person classes and experiences while also incorporating online instructional resources where possible. More specific details about modifications to courses will come from the schools’ deans in the coming weeks. I wish to commend our faculty for their work in coming up with creative solutions that reflect the way the industry is adapting to the current situation, which will ensure the training is more relevant than ever.
 
#3—Health and Safety Protocols
 
Under guidance and protocols outlined by the UNC System, UNCSA is working closely with state and local partners in health and public safety in finalizing our operational plans for the fall semester and beyond. Our focus is to be able to offer the core elements of in-person training in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to the industry, while doing everything possible to protect the health of students, faculty and staff. Details about these protocols, as well as on-campus health and safety procedures such as screening, testing and quarantining, will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
To deal with these and many other issues, I’ve organized various cross-departmental task forces. These include Academic Programs, Health and Wellness Services, Environmental Safety, Residential Housing and Dining, Human Resources and Infrastructure, Communications and External Relations, and Finance and Infrastructure. These task forces include broad representation from faculty and staff across the campus, as well as representatives from student government.  
 
We continue to be guided by the UNC System Office, the Centers for Disease Control and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and are working with local partners to further refine our return to campus. It is important to note that we must maintain maximum flexibility in our planning, knowing that conditions with COVID-19 may evolve over the summer or during the school year. We will keep you informed every step of the way.
 
We plan to hold several online Town Hall meetings in June to address questions you may have about the fall, and will announce those dates shortly. Until then, please continue to monitor our new Fall 2020 webpage for changes and updates.
 
In these unprecedented times, the world needs the inspiration and creative problem-solving abilities of artists now more than ever. The people of the UNCSA community are better prepared than anyone to meet these challenges, and our institution is ready to do so. While this is a complex situation, I also believe it is one that presents an opportunity for UNCSA to do what it does best – let our ingenuity, resourcefulness and imagination shine.


Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Chancellor



N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 22, that will allow North Carolinians to move into Phase 2 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions due to COVID-19.
 
Phase 2 lifts the stay-at-home order, but recommends residents will be “Safer At Home” – especially people at high risk. Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said that while the state’s overall key indicators remain stable, continued increases in daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.
 
For UNCSA, the move into Phase 2 has no significant impact on our operations as teleworking is still encouraged. Employees should continue teleworking and remote work arrangements where possible, and only mandatory employees who have been directed by their supervisors to support essential operations should report to campus.
 
Under Phase 2, the following occurs:
•    Restaurants can open at 50% capacity for dine-in customers.
•    Personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, can open at 50% capacity.
•    Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level.
•    Mass gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. These limits apply to: event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas; amphitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches.
•    Day camps and overnight camps can open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.
•    Bars, night clubs, gyms and indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters and bowling alleys remain closed.
•    Rigorous restrictions remain on nursing homes and other congregant care settings.
The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through 5 p.m. Friday, June 26, unless revised or replaced. For more information on Phase 2, see the FAQs on the NC governor website.

UNCSA Employees:

I hope you and your family and friends are well.

Please take a moment to review the following new information regarding your work during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Special Work and Leave Provisions for April (see "Administrative Leave/Mandatory Employees" Update published March 31, 2020) were recently extended by the UNC System Office through May 8. After consulting with the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), the UNC System Office has now provided updated guidance, effective May 9 until further revised or rescinded.

The provisions in the May 9 guidance are substantially the same as those in the April guidance, including the availability of special paid administrative leave in eligible circumstances. The May 9 guidance also includes a more detailed summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its administration; for more information, see "Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave Provisions" (effective May 1, 2020) (PDF) and the UNC Personnel Policy 300.2.15[R].

The federal FFCRA was signed into law on March 18 and is effective April 1-Dec. 31, 2020. The law provides a time-limited allocation of emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave coverage for employees who cannot work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions of this law apply to both permanent and currently employed non-student temporary employees for time missed due to qualifying circumstances beginning May 1, 2020.

On a related note, Gov. Roy Cooper has issued an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, which allows North Carolinians to move into Phase 1 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions he issued on March 27 as the state continues to battle COVID-19. For UNCSA, the move into Phase 1 has no significant impact on our operations. Employees should continue teleworking and remote work arrangements where possible, and only mandatory employees who have been directed by their supervisors to support essential operations should report to campus.

At a future date, possibly in late May or early June, we expect that the UNC System Office will develop detailed guidelines regarding incremental return to work onsite for its constituent institutions, including UNCSA, based on guidance received from the OSHR, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and further executive orders.

I know this is a challenging and confusing time for all of you. Remember that we are all in this together, and that your HR team is here to support you. You may email questions related to this communication to HRLeaveInquiries@uncarts.onmicrosoft.com; we will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

Until we are together again, be safe and stay healthy.

Take care,
Angela L. Mahoney, SHRM-CP, PHR
Director of Human Resources

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 8, that will allow North Carolinians to move into Phase 1 of a three-phased approach to slowly lift statewide restrictions he issued on
March 27 as the state continues to battle COVID-19.

The statewide stay-at-home order will still be in place, but restrictions on leaving home will be loosened as more business are allowed to open. People will be able to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.

Retail businesses will be allowed to open at 50% capacity with social distancing and frequent cleaning. Other businesses remain closed, including personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants and bars may continue to offer drive-through, takeout and delivery only.

Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The opening of state parks and trails is encouraged.

Child care facilities will be open, with strict cleaning protocols, to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work.

Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it. A memorandum from the UNC System’s Office of Human Resources will follow with more details.

See more on what's new in Phase 1 (PDF).

The governor’s order is in effect until 5 p.m. Friday, May 22; however, Phase 2 will start only if public health data and indicators meet the governor’s plan.

According to public health officials, there have been more than 300 reported cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, with five deaths. Statewide, there have been more than 13,000 cases and more than 500 deaths to date.

For more information on COVID-19 and how it affects UNCSA, please visit our website, uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

April 2020

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Dear Undergraduate and Graduate Students,
Funds are now available from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). You may be eligible.

The federal government is providing $12.56 billion to public and private higher education institutions, half of which is intended to provide emergency assistance to college students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the novel coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and child care.

UNC System institutions will receive a combined amount of approximately $179 million. UNCSA's allocation is expected to total $868,886, of which $434,443 is specifically reserved to provide eligible students with emergency financial aid grants. The other half of the funds will be used to help offset revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have been predetermined to be eligible for a distribution from the CARES HEERF, you will receive an email from me in the next week. The email will include a link to a form that must be completed before you can receive a distribution; it certifies you have expenses related to campus disruption due to COVID-19 and will use the funds for that purpose. Note: Graduating students cannot receive the funds after they graduate, so please complete the form quickly.

College students who submitted a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) indicating demonstrated need (and eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid) are eligible for the CARES HEERF funds. Note: With the exception of graduating students, college students can still file a FAFSA for 2019-20 to qualify.

UNCSA is using a model designed to distribute funds as quickly as possible to students with the greatest need. Funds will be allocated in a tiered fashion for undergraduates in amounts ranging from $200 to $1,000, with Pell Grant-eligible students receiving $1,000. Graduate students demonstrating need will receive $500. Funds received through this process are meant to provide assistance and may not cover all expenses incurred.

When the federal government announced the funds were coming, UNCSA put together a committee tasked with their disbursement. We have been reviewing the latest updates provided by the U.S. Department of Education and working closely with UNC System leadership to develop and implement guidelines to meet federal requirements. The UNCSA committee includes Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Chief of Staff Jim DeCristo, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Michael Smith, Interim Vice Provost Tracey Ford, Clinical Case Manager Laurel Donley, and myself.

If you did not demonstrate need after submitting a 2019-20 FAFSA, or if you have greater needs than those addressed by the CARES HEERF, other funds may be available to you through a separate process. You will need to complete a separate form listing total expenses and immediate need to apply for other emergency assistance from our COVID-19 College Student Emergency Fund, managed through Student Affairs. Again, graduating students should please complete the form quickly, as these funds are for immediate needs of currently enrolled students.

My best wishes to you for your future health and safety during these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Jane Caropreso Kamiab
Director, Student Financial Aid


Today, Thursday, April 23, Gov. Roy Cooper extended North Carolina’s stay-at-home order until May 8, in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The order had been set to expire on April 29.

Gov. Cooper said that North Carolina will need more widespread COVID-19 testing, tracking of those who have had contact with those who are ill, and slowed case and hospitalization rate trends before restrictions can ease. He also laid out a three-stage plan for reopening the state once those criteria have been met.

Winston-Salem’s stay-at-home restrictions were already extended to May 7.

According to public health officials, there have been 143 reported cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, with five deaths. Statewide, there have been 7,759 cases and 275 deaths to date.
 
As previously reported, UNCSA will be online only for the remainder of the semester, with faculty continuing to deliver online instruction off-campus, as much as possible.

Non-mandatory staff continue to telework where possible, and mandatory employees continue to report to work as approved by their supervisors. The special work and leave provisions as communicated on March 31 will remain in place through April 30; we are expecting continued guidance from the UNC System Office for the month of May and will communicate any information we receive.

The small number of residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must continue to adhere to this stay-at-home order.

Remember, there are several exemptions to the stay-at-home orders, but only for essential services and activities, such as visiting healthcare providers and pharmacies, getting groceries and takeout, and taking care of pets. For more detailed information, see the governor's office's FAQs regarding this order.
 
For more information on COVID-19 and how it affects UNCSA, please visit our website, uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Dear UNCSA Community,
I hope everyone is well as I check in again with my latest video update.

It is hard to believe that we are already well into the homestretch for this academic year. With that in mind, I have used this update primarily to fill you in on our planning for the virtual celebration of graduating students. While we are still planning an in-person commencement ceremony in the future, we have come up with what we believe will be a wonderful way to celebrate our University and High School Classes of 2020. We'll launch these online celebrations at 10 a.m. May 9 for University graduates and 10 a.m. May 16 for High School graduates; but they will remain available following each event to view on demand whenever you wish. Tune in to the update and look out for an email invitation for more details.

In this update I also address questions and concerns that we continue to receive regarding plans for the fall semester. Please know that we are actively planning for several scenarios for how the school year might begin, knowing we can't yet predict with certainty the path the current health crisis will take. We are hopeful that we'll be able to bring students, faculty and staff back together as soon as possible, but top priority remains the safety of everyone in our community. We are working hard to prepare for the future and do everything we can to be able to deliver the caliber of education and experience you expect from UNCSA next year.

Until the next time -- stay strong, Pickles!

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Last week, Interim Chancellor Brian Cole announced that the UNC System approved our ability to offer prorated refunds for unused housing and dining services as a result of the rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since reducing university operations, we recognize that students have faced many difficulties as you have quickly moved out of residence halls, lost access to dining, and transitioned to online learning.

UNCSA is working with the UNC System to provide these refunds as soon as possible. The refund payment processes have already begun and are expected to take no longer than three to four weeks, so all reimbursements are distributed no later than the end of April.

All refunds will be processed through the UNCSA Student Accounts Office to address any outstanding balances (fines, fees, payment plans, etc.) with the remaining balances issued as refunds. Refund calculations will be applied from March 16, 2020, the first day after the day students were directed to vacate campus housing. All applicable UNCSA students (high school, undergraduate and graduate) who are no longer able to use their housing or dining contracts will be included in the refund process.

Students and families can help us expedite this effort by ensuring your direct deposit information is updated and accurate in TouchNet, our online payment and refund portal. Please note that this direct deposit is separate from student payroll, and may only be accessed through the "Student and Staff" login.

We appreciate your patience as we work through this process. We are committed to issuing all refunds as expeditiously as possible. If you have any questions, please reach out to Student Accounts at studentaccounts@uncsa.edu.

Dear UNCSA Community,

As promised, here is my next video message to all of you as we complete Week 2 of online classes. I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few of the most frequently asked questions from this week, specifically about refunds and academic grading policies. I am pleased that we were able to offer some good news on both fronts, as we know how important these subjects are to all of you. But I know that each move forward brings more questions, and we will stay in close communication to share more information as soon as we are able.

I want to again reiterate that we remain keenly aware that in addition to navigating the shift to online instruction, some of you are dealing with challenging personal and family situations that make living up to your usual potential more difficult. Please know that we want to do all that we can to help you succeed in these less than favorable circumstances.

Again, I want to assure you that we are listening and trying to respond as quickly as possible and we will continue to provide updates via email and messages from me. In the meantime I look forward to seeing more of your fantastic contributions online at #poweringcommunity. Remember that continuing to make art is one of the ways you can be a light in the darkness as the world navigates this pandemic.

Hope you are safe and well, and that you are all able to enjoy your weekend wherever you may be.

Sincerely,
Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Students,

I write to share with you the provisional academic policies we have put in place to support you during this semester. These policies are intended to give you some flexibility in navigating your online coursework. I understand how difficult it is for our campus community to be apart and to have to adapt so quickly to an online learning environment. The UNC System considers the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic as constituting extenuating circumstances, and this will be noted on your university transcript.
 
UNCSA is making the following policy provisions for the spring 2020 semester only:

  • A Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option, which you may elect after your grades have posted. Given the uncertainty of everyone’s circumstances, we believe that giving you the option at the end of the term to change letter grades in your courses to S/U gives you the greatest flexibility.
  • Extension of incomplete grades due this semester
  • Exception to probation and dismissal policies
  • Availability of withdrawal under extenuating circumstances

The entire policy is included below and will be on our COVID-19 website. Please submit your questions through this form so that we can review quickly, respond to you, and add to the FAQ section.
  
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at UNCSA, I wish to convey our concern for you and your well-being. Please stay connected with your faculty and peers during this time, and reach out when you need us.

Yours,

Karin Peterson
Interim Provost



UNCSA COVID-19 Provisional Academic Policies

March 2020

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To: University Employees

COVID-19 Special Work and Leave Provisions are effective April 1 – April 30, 2020.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper has approved special emergency provisions for SHRA and non-faculty EHRA employees who cannot work during the COVID-19 pandemic. These provisions supersede all regular policies and can be changed by Interim President Roper at any time based on the development of the System's COVID-19 response and the operational needs of UNCSA.

One of these provisions is special paid administrative leave. Paid administrative leave is leave that you may take with pay if your circumstance is included in the categories below. It does not count against other categories of leave. paid administrative leave must occur within the employee's regular work schedule (or typical work schedule for temporary employees as determined by their supervisor). Paid administrative leave doesn't include overtime or other special pay provisions and is time that does not have to be made up.

Paid Administrative Leave for Permanent Employees

Supervisors should give every possible consideration to employees who request to use paid administrative leave. Supervisors also have the discretion to deny or defer special leave provisions if an employee is deemed mandatory (position addresses urgent public health needs, public safety, or critical infrastructure needs).

Categories that enable an employee to request paid administrative leave are listed and explained below:

High-Risk Employees: Special consideration should be given to employees who are determined to be "high risk" for contracting COVID-19. Supervisors may allow these employees to telework or approve paid administrative leave.

Employees in the "high risk" category meet one of the following conditions:

  • Are over 65 years of age
  • Have underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Are providing care to someone at high risk

Employees with Child Care and Elder Care Issues: Employees who can't work because they have child care or elder care needs due to COVID-19-related facility closings will receive paid administrative leave for the period of time they are unavailable to work. If more than one person in the household is a state employee, then the employees are expected to work with their supervisor to determine how to allocate paid administrative leave to avoid an inappropriate overlap of leave usage.

Employees Unable to Telework: Employees may receive paid administrative leave if they cannot telework because their position and duties cannot be performed remotely, and reasonable alternate remote work is not feasible or productive.

Employees Who Are Sick from Cold, Flu or COVID-19: Employees who are sick due to symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19 or who are caring for a dependent with such symptoms may receive paid administrative leave. All other absences will utilize regular forms of leave such as sick, vacation and bonus leave, or shared leave if approved.

Part-Time Employees: For part-time employees with fluctuating schedules, paid administrative leave may be applied, but consideration should be given to the employee's average hours per week over the course of a month. In no case shall paid administrative leave exceed 40 hours per week.

Temporary Employees: Interim Chancellor Brian Cole will continue to offer full or partial special leave provisions to temporary employees (including students and retirees) based on available funds and operational needs.

The Chancellor has the discretion to offer telework to any temporary employees and/or to designate such employees as mandatory to address critical operational needs. If the temporary employee is unable to telework supervisors may discontinue such temporary employees or place them in inactive status.

Employees are not eligible for paid administrative leave if they are already on another pre-approved leave. Employees who were on other pre-approved leave, choose not to work, or are unavailable for reasons other than provided in the special emergency provisions must use the available and applicable leave types:

  • vacation leave
  • parental leave
  • bonus leave
  • compensatory time
  • take leave without pay

Mandatory and Non-Mandatory Employee Designations

Mandatory employees are those employees who are directed by their supervisor to work at specific dates and times on the UNCSA campus and in most circumstances are not eligible for telework. Such employees have been deemed essential to work on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic and include, but are not limited to, positions that relate to:
• public health and patient care
• public safety
• operation of critical infrastructure and facilities
• remaining on-site student and instructional support services

UNCSA maintains a list of mandatory employees required to meet the UNCSA operational needs specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors must communicate expectations to mandatory employees. If you aren't sure if you are a mandatory employee, ask your supervisor. Employees' mandatory or non-mandatory status may be changed by supervisors at any time due to the ongoing operational needs of UNCSA and our COVID-19 response.

All non-mandatory employees may continue to be assigned work and are expected to telework, if feasible, given the nature of their position and duties. Supervisors may also reassign an individual to complete other work assignments that are not a part of their normal duties and responsibilities. If employees must take on significantly higher or more complex duties because the employee who normally assumes them is on paid administrative leave due to COVID-19, supervisors may compensate them accordingly for the duration of the assignment if funding is available. Supervisors must gain approval from Human Resources to do so.

Compensatory Time for Mandatory Employees

SHRA and EHRA non-faculty mandatory permanent employees will receive added compensatory time for hours required to be worked on the UNCSA campus, and only for those specific dates and times that such on-site work is required; off-site (teleworking) hours will not be subject to these added special compensation provision. Employees must request approval from their supervisor to take the additional earned compensatory time.

  • Hourly (Fair Labor Standards Act non-exempt) mandatory employees will receive an additional half hour of compensatory leave time for each hour worked on-site. Those employees who work in excess of 40 hours per work week will also receive additional half hours for overtime hours worked. Overtime hours are defined as any hours worked over 40 during a single week, per federal overtime rules.
  • Salaried (Fair Labor Standards Act exempt) mandatory employees will receive an additional half hour of compensatory leave time for each hour worked on-site up to 40 hours in a work week.
  • These special emergency provisions are not intended to be applied to executive or leadership positions. The following positions, even if designated mandatory, are excluded from these special compensation provisions:
    • Tier I and Tier II senior academic and administrative officers
    • Faculty
    • Physicians
    • Directors and deputy directors of major institution- wide or school-wide functions and centers
    • Department and Division heads

These special emergency provisions will be subject to review on April 30, 2020 taking into account continuing developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of funds. We anticipate further guidance as the UNC System Office provides clarity around these provisions in the context of the larger federal CARES Act.

Please email questions related to this memo to HRLeaveInquiries@uncarts.onmicrosoft.com, Human Resources will respond to your question as soon as possible. Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney will hold a call with supervisors on Wednesday, April 1 at 9:30 a.m. to review this memo and answer questions about mandatory employees and how to facilitate paid administrative leave.

From: Angela Mahoney, Director of Human Resources


Dear Students,

We recognize that many of the necessary actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have created a hardship for many of you who have had to move out of residence halls, lost access to dining services, and managed a wide range of individually unique challenges. Today, in an effort to address those challenges, we are pleased that the UNC System has announced that students at all System schools, including UNCSA, will receive prorated refunds of unused dining and housing fees incurred.
 
There is a great deal more detailed work to be done to determine when and how the refunds will be issued, but we wanted to share this information with you as quickly as possible. Over the next few days, UNCSA administrators and UNC System leadership are working together to develop this process. We will send more information about the timing and process as soon as we are able.

Sincerely,
Brian Cole


Today, Friday, March 27, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order for the state of North Carolina in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 30, and will remain in effect for 30 days.

The statewide order is similar to the citywide order given on March 25 by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines that goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. There are more than 700 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and at least 24 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus.

Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • Online instruction is defined as an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are expected to telework where possible.
  • Mandatory employees should consult their supervisor regarding their requirement to continue reporting to campus.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Student Affairs will allow students to pick up essential belongings through Sunday, March 29, as planned. To schedule an appointment, please email Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlik for college.

There are several exemptions to the stay-at-home orders. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the governor's office's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today, Wednesday, March 25, Mayor Allen Joines issued a stay-at-home order for the city of Winston-Salem in an effort to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19. This order includes members of the campus community who reside in Winston-Salem and goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, March 27, and will remain in effect until Thursday, April 16.

There are currently no COVID-19 cases on the UNCSA campus. There are at least 17 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, according to public health officials. Previous measures implemented at UNCSA still apply:

  • As specified by the mayor's order, online instruction is an essential service. Faculty are strongly encouraged to deliver their online instruction off-campus, if possible. If the delivery of their online course requires access to campus, faculty should report their schedule to their dean.
  • All shops, practice and rehearsal rooms, theaters and studios on campus remain closed.
  • All non-mandatory employees are requested to telework where possible.
  • Residential students who remain on campus as granted by exception for extenuating circumstances may stay on campus, but must adhere to this stay-at-home order.
  • Residential students who are not currently on campus must schedule an appointment with Student Affairs to pick up their belongings before Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m., if possible. Student Affairs will allow pick up of essential belongings through Sunday, March 29 as planned. To schedule an appointment, please contact Kathryn McMillan for high school and Nick Gawlik for college.

There are several exemptions to the mayor's stay-at-home order. Some of them are: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, and to take care of others. For more detailed information, see the mayor's official order and the city's FAQs regarding this order.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Dear UNCSA Community,

Today we mark a significant moment where we take our first steps forward in these unprecedented times. This morning we resumed classes at UNCSA, all of which are now taking place exclusively in an online environment. While the moment is one that carries a significant level of sadness and disappointment for all of us, it is also one that brings resilience and hope as this community of artists together begins to move forward.

It wasn't that long ago that we had to make the initial announcement that we would be extending Spring Break and transitioning to online instruction, and yet so much has happened since then. The rapid pace of the change and disruption we have faced has been disorienting for everyone, and the required adjustments are substantial and impactful. On Saturday I came to campus to check in with the dedicated Student Affairs team that is doing everything they can to assist students and parents with a difficult transition. While there, I spoke with students and parents as they collected belongings and prepared for a much different conclusion of our semester than we had planned. There was a lot of sadness on those faces, but there was also strength and perseverance. I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone – students, parents, faculty and staff – for the diligence, faith and resolve that have been evident throughout our community over these last days. You have each been instrumental in helping UNCSA move forward.

Nothing – not even the novel coronavirus – will deter us from our mission to train artists and enrich the cultural and economic prosperity of the people of North Carolina and the nation. Now, as we enter a new and unprecedented chapter in the history of our school, we will focus on the core goals and outcomes for our students and continue to do everything possible to position you to be successful in your programs, as well as next steps in your careers. Today is a step forward, but I know that things will likely get harder before they begin to return to any sense of normalcy. Recently I heard UNC System Interim President Bill Roper say, "We will get past this, but to get past it we first have to go through it." The strength of the UNCSA community is what will make that happen. We will do that together with patience and a deep commitment to each other.

One of the principal things that defines us is the art that we create and how we share it with the world every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a physical distance between us, and in the past weeks we have been left with a silence and a darkness in the absence of the art that usually overflows from this campus and its people.

Today let's commit to filling that silence with more music, poetry and storytelling than ever before. Let's bring our light back into the world with more dance, painting, and sculpture. From wherever you are currently sheltered, please share the images and videos of the art that you are creating with #poweringcreativity as well as a new hashtag especially for this time: #poweringcommunity. We'll be actively reposting and sharing the work from our students, faculty, staff and alumni through the UNCSA media channels more meaningfully than ever.

I have never been more proud to be a part of UNCSA. This is an incredible family that has unparalleled talent, creativity and grit. What our community of artists does is not only important for the arts industry – it is crucial for our society. Our world desperately needs the empathy and joy that only art can create, and none of that is possible without you. I know that you will all rise to the challenge.

#poweringcommunity #poweringcreativity

Very best regards,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

 

Dear Class of 2020,

I know you’ve received a lot of updates from me lately, but I feel it is important to reach out again today regarding something I know is on the minds of our graduating students as well as the rest of the UNCSA community, which is commencement.

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and public health advisories on large gatherings, we have decided that our university commencement on May 9 and high school commencement on May 16 will not take place in-person as planned.

But rest assured, UNCSA will do everything possible to hold in-person commencement ceremonies as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are planning to host virtual and interactive tributes to all of our seniors on May 9 and 16. Please stay tuned for details on this in the coming weeks.

I personally know that commencement is one of the highlights of the UNCSA experience – an inspirational and exciting concluding chapter in our story each year. I know how much that moment means to you, our senior students, and how disappointing this news is.

It is important to understand that the postponement of our in-person commencement ceremonies will not affect your ability to complete your degree programs on time and officially graduate from the institution. Our deans and faculty are in the final stages of preparing an online experience to support the completion of student coursework, and we are working together to address the needs of senior capstone projects in parallel with that online classroom environment. We realize there may be challenges with our new online format and that not all students will have equal access to the space, time or technology needed to participate in those courses. We are working continuously and proactively to address those needs as best we can.

We are immensely proud of all of you and what you have accomplished here as a part of the UNCSA family, and we look forward to the moment that we will all be able to celebrate you and those achievements. It’s just going to take a little longer than any of us had planned.

Again, please take care of yourselves and each other, and refer to our UNCSA COVID-19 webpage for more information and instructions for self-quarantine. Thank you for your patience, perseverance and resilience as our Fighting Pickle family continues to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Sincerely,

Brian Cole

Interim Chancellor

The following are special emergency provisions authorized by the interim president of the University of North Carolina in response to the COVID-19 event. These provisions will be subject to modification or discontinuation by the interim president at any time based on COVID-19 developments and the operational needs of the university. Special paid administrative leave provisions are per the employee's regular work schedule (or typical work schedule for temporary employees as determined by management) and do not include overtime or other special pay provisions.

Administrative Leave (including student and temporary employees) - Administrative paid leave for all mandatory and non-mandatory employees, including temporary and student employees, will be in place for the following situations related to COVID-19 through March 31:

High-Risk Mandatory Employees: Mandatory employees who are determined to be "high risk" for contracting COVID- 19 or experiencing greater complications (i.e., over 65 years of age; have underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes; or a weakened immune system) or who are providing care to someone at high risk will be given special consideration for teleworking or administrative leave.

Example: Pat is a mandatory employee who has been assigned to report to work at a particular date and time. Pat is 65 years old and has an underlying lung condition. Because Pat is in a high-risk group for COVID-19 infection, they should be allowed to telework, if feasible; if teleworking is not an option given the nature of the work, then Pat should be granted paid administrative leave.

Employees with Child Care and Elder Care
Issues: Mandatory or non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who cannot work because they have child care or elder care needs due to COVID-19-related facility closings will receive paid administrative leave for the period of time they are unavailable.

Example: Kim is a non-mandatory employee and a single parent to a kindergarten-age child. With the closure of the public schools, Kim is the sole caregiver to the child during the day. Kim cannot telework during the day due to childcare responsibilities arising from COVID-19 facility closures, but Kim can complete some of work duties by teleworking. Kim arranges with her supervisor to telework 20 hours per week outside her regular work schedule and will receive 20 hours of paid administrative leave for the period of time dedicated to childcare.

Employees Unable to Telework: Non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who are unable to telework will receive paid administrative leave if they cannot telework because their position duties cannot be performed remotely and reasonable alternate remote work is not feasible or productive.

Example: Sam is a temporary employee who averages about 15 hours of work per week. Sam's duties cannot be performed remotely and are not considered mandatory. Sam would receive paid administrative leave for their regular hours of work using 15 hours per week.

Please note: For part-time employees with irregular schedules, paid administrative leave should consider the employee's average hours per week over the course of a month. In no case shall paid administrative leave exceed 40 hours per week.

Employees Who Are Ill from Cold, Flu or COVID-19: Any mandatory or non-mandatory employees (including temporary and student employees) who are sick due to symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19 or who are caring for a dependent with such symptoms will receive paid administrative leave. All other medically related absences will utilize regular forms of leave such as sick, vacation and bonus leave, or shared leave if previously approved.

Example: Terry is a non-mandatory employee who is assigned telework. After two days of working from home, Terry has an accident resulting in injuries that require hospitalization.
Because Terry is unable to work during this time due to nonCOVID-19-related health issues, Terry must take sick leave for the time they were unable to work.

• An Important Note About Those Not Eligible: Non- mandatory employees who were on other pre-approved leave, choose not to work or are unavailable for reasons other than provided for in the special COVID-19 provisions must use available and applicable leave types; e.g. vacation leave, parental leave, bonus leave or compensatory time.

• A Note for Mandatory Employees: There are no special compensation provisions for mandatory employees in effect at this time. This means mandatory employees who must report to campus will be compensated at their regular rate of pay at this time.

• Leave Report Instructions - https://www.uncsa.edu/mysa/human-resources/leave-administration.aspx

From: Angela Mahoney, UNCSA Director of Human Resources

Dear Students,

After substantial deliberation and discussion with Interim Provost Peterson, deans and other faculty leaders, it is with great sadness that we let you know UNCSA has made the very difficult decision to suspend in-person classes for the entire spring semester. This means that when we transition to a 100% online format on Monday, March 23, we will continue in that environment for the duration of those courses. This also means that all student performances and events scheduled during the rest of the spring semester are effectively canceled. 

Our timeline to assess our situation and make a longer-term decision about the spring semester was cut short due to yesterday’s new UNC System directive to reduce student populations on all campuses substantially. We are confident this decision is in the best interest of our campus community and the community at-large, given the severity and escalating nature of the situation and nationwide response to the spread of COVID-19.

This is an unprecedented measure and one that is enormously disappointing for every member of the UNCSA community. We want to assure you that we will continue to do everything possible to prepare graduating seniors to transition into their professional careers or next steps in their education, as well as provide continuity for all of our students during this challenging time. 

The UNC System continues to monitor the situation and plans to make a systemwide decision regarding in-person commencement by April 1.

To our students: Our arts, liberal arts, and high school faculty are hard at work preparing for a robust online experience to support the completion of your coursework. This is a heavy lift and will be a new experience for all involved, and we encourage you to take full advantage of the resources available to make the most of your online learning experience. 

We realize that you will have many questions about how this news affects you and our campus. Your deans and faculty will reach out soon with pertinent information and next steps regarding your arts and academic programs. For comprehensive information regarding Students Affairs, Residence Life and other groups that provide student services, please refer to the COVID-19 FAQs, which we will continuously update.

These are challenging times for our institution, our nation and the world, and it will take time for this crisis -- and the anxiousness that comes with it -- to pass. But it will pass. Our community and our will is strong, and they will remain so. Together we will take uncertainty, trials and obstacles and turn them into truth, empathy and beauty, because that is what artists do. It is at our core and it is who we are. We are innovators and creators and together we will meet these hard times head on and come out even stronger on the other side -- and we will care for each other in the process. 

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Staff and Faculty,

As you know, the federal and state government’s response to COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Given recent changes, the UNC System has updated its guidance to campuses to include a directive to substantially reduce the number of students in campus housing and to encourage non-mandatory employees to telework if possible. Below is how this will affect UNCSA:

SHRA and non-faculty EHRA non-mandatory employees are expected to work remotely, if possible.

  • Supervisors should allow employees whose jobs can be performed remotely to telework. Teleworking may not be possible for some positions depending on the impact on university operations and especially positions that impact essential functions, such as student services. However, telework is expected where possible. UNCSA has resources for remote working available.
     
  • It is expected that student-facing offices will remain operational remotely, with sufficient onsite staffing to support students who must remain on campus, and all other phones forwarded and email monitored. 
     
  • If not already communicated, supervisors should now inform mandatory employees of their requirement to either work remotely or continue reporting to campus. Due to the unforeseen impact of COVID-19, mandatory status may change throughout the course of the next several weeks and clear communication of employee expectations is vital.
     
  • The UNC System continues to prohibit all university-related travel following CDC guidelines and the further direction of public health officials. University-sponsored travel outside the state of North Carolina, or within the state to gatherings of 100 or more people, shall be suspended unless prior written authorization to travel is given by the chancellor or the provost. This prohibition includes student organizations.
     
  • Refer to this webpage for more information and for instructions regarding self-quarantine.

As we adapt to the rapidly evolving situation, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as our community at-large, and the delivery of our core academic mission, remain our priority.

Staff, please direct questions about teleworking or administrative leave to Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney

Faculty, please direct questions to your dean and Director of Faculty Affairs Kim Pauley.

Yesterday Gov. Roy Cooper announced an Executive Order that all North Carolina K-12 public schools will be closed through at least March 30 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize that this will present additional challenges for many in our campus community, particularly members of our faculty and staff who have children that attend public schools. 
 
The governor’s Executive Order does not alter the guidance we have received from the UNC System Office, nor any of the instructions we have communicated to you over the past several days.

  • UNCSA and all other UNC institutions remain open, although transitioning to online and alternative course delivery. As indicated in our other communications, we still strongly recommend that all students remain home or return home for the time being, if possible. 
  • The Executive Order does not require us to close university housing or suspend dining facilities or other student services. Our dining services are offering takeout options at campus dining facilities.
  • All conferences on campuses that will assemble 100 or more people in a single room for a meeting continue to be suspended.

Tomorrow, deans and faculty are meeting to further discuss and plan for the development of our online resources and technology needs. We will communicate additional guidance per arts discipline as soon as possible, as well as survey the individual technology resource needs for each student. 

As always, it is critically important to stay connected and informed during this time. Please regularly check uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates. Also monitor your email and UNCSA social media channels as we will update information as frequently and quickly as possible. 
Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community,

Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to mitigate the potential effects of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community, the deans, cabinet members and I have made the difficult decision to suspend student and guest artist performances through April 5, 2020. 

We are purposefully suspending these performances instead of canceling them to allow the flexibility to reimagine these productions at a later date if necessary. We recognize that this will be especially hard for our students and have asked deans to work closely with them to ensure their final projects are realized. 

This includes the following performances:

  • UNCSA New York Alumni Quintet, March 17
  • UNCSA Jazz Ensemble, March 22 at The Ramkat
  • “The Odyssey,” March 26 through 29 and April 2 through 4
  • Michael Butterman Conducts the Symphony Orchestra, March 28
  • Undergraduate Opera Scenes, March 29
  • Low Brass Studio in Recital, March 31
  • Concerto Competition, April 5
  • Cantata Singers Spring Concert, April 5 at Winston-Salem State University

I know you have poured your hearts into preparing for these performances and I want you to know that your work is deeply valued and appreciated. We are committed to balancing the needs of our young artists with our responsibility to help prevent any further escalation of the current pandemic. I appreciate your understanding of the difficulty we faced in making this decision. 

Sincerely,
Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community

Our leadership team and the UNC System Office continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 closely. 
 
Today the System Office delivered instructions for all UNC System institutions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in North Carolina. For UNCSA, that means that Spring Break is extended through March 20 for students. No classes, rehearsals, performances, or events will be held next week. If at all possible, students are strongly encouraged to return to or remain home at this time. As early as March 23, we will move to predominantly online course delivery. Faculty should plan to work March 16-20 to prepare for this transition. Further information regarding academic preparation and student services will be coming from the Office of the Provost soon.
 
Even though classes and events are canceled next week, the UNCSA campus will remain open. Here is a summary of the instructions received from the System Office:
 

  • UNCSA will transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery by March 23 and last indefinitely. Our goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as reasonably possible.
  • The provost will determine which academic and arts classes will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance. All performances are currently under review.
  • University events and gatherings of 100 or more people will be canceled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by the chancellor or provost. If you are in charge of an event that meets these criteria, please do not make any cancellation plans or communications without vice chancellor approval.
  • University-sponsored in-state travel to gatherings of 100 or more people is suspended, and all travel outside the state is suspended unless otherwise authorized by the chancellor or provost.

Our goal this evening was to inform you as quickly as possible about these plans and I realize this information will raise a lot of questions. We will update you as soon as additional information is available. Refer to this page, uncsa.edu/coronavirus, for the latest information on our campus response. 

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community

Our leadership team and the UNC System Office continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 closely. 
 
Today the System Office delivered instructions for all UNC System institutions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in North Carolina. For UNCSA, that means that Spring Break is extended through March 20 for students. No classes, rehearsals, performances, or events will be held next week. If at all possible, students are strongly encouraged to return to or remain home at this time. As early as March 23, we will move to predominantly online course delivery. Faculty should plan to work March 16-20 to prepare for this transition. Further information regarding academic preparation and student services will be coming from the Office of the Provost soon.
 
Even though classes and events are canceled next week, the UNCSA campus will remain open. Here is a summary of the instructions received from the System Office:
 

  • UNCSA will transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery by March 23 and last indefinitely. Our goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as reasonably possible.
  • The provost will determine which academic and arts classes will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance. All performances are currently under review.
  • University events and gatherings of 100 or more people will be canceled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by the chancellor or provost. If you are in charge of an event that meets these criteria, please do not make any cancellation plans or communications without vice chancellor approval.
  • University-sponsored in-state travel to gatherings of 100 or more people is suspended, and all travel outside the state is suspended unless otherwise authorized by the chancellor or provost.

Our goal this evening was to inform you as quickly as possible about these plans and I realize this information will raise a lot of questions. We will update you as soon as additional information is available. Refer to this page, uncsa.edu/coronavirus, for the latest information on our campus response. 

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community,

Our leadership team and the UNC System Office continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 closely. Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County. There are two confirmed cases in North Carolina in Wake and Chatham Counties.

Our directive for self-quarantine remains the same: 
Self-quarantine is ONLY required if you have visited an area where a confirmed case of COVID-19 is present, AND you have respiratory symptoms and a fever. Please call Health Services (students) or your health-care provider (faculty and staff) for screening. Then report your status to the university by notifying your dean or supervisor and complete the self-reporting form

As of today, we have not made plans to cancel classes, events or performances. We’re continuing to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina closely. Information about the outbreak in our state is the most crucial factor in informing the actions we may need to take to ensure the safety of our community.  

The following prohibitions and recommendations also remain the same:

  • Prohibited until further notice: university-affiliated travel to Level 2 and 3 countries, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. Anyone who travels to these affected areas is required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. 
  • Not recommended: university-affiliated or personal travel to U.S. where COVID-19 cases are confirmed*. Anyone who travels to these states may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. We urge you to stay apprised of updates about other areas in the U.S. that are affected. 

* In this update, we’ve clarified impacted areas from “states that declare a state of emergency” to “states where COVID-19 is confirmed.”

We understand that this can be a stressful time, but urge you to be thoughtful and kind with your actions towards others. Exposure to the virus is the only factor in determining if a person poses any risk of spreading COVID-19. Outside of that, no group of people poses any higher risk than another. The media has reported incidents of bullying, harassment, and other stigmatizing actions, related to the COVID-19 outbreak. We want to emphasize that this kind of behavior is against UNCSA values and is not tolerated.

Please stay alert to future communications. All updates will be posted on uncsa.edu/coronavirus

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community,

Our leadership team and the UNC System Office continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 closely. As you are aware, the virus has spread globally and in the United States. Currently, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County. There are currently two confirmed cases in North Carolina: one in Wake County and one in Chatham County, both in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

The university is implementing the following new domestic and international travel restrictions and recommendations, effective immediately, in an effort to protect members of the UNCSA community and mitigate the potential effects of COVID-19 on our campus:

  • Prohibited until further notice: university-affiliated travel to Level 2 and 3 countries, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. Anyone who travels to these affected areas is required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Not recommended: university-affiliated or personal travel to locations within the United States where a state of emergency has been declared related to COVID-19. Currently, that includes California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington State. Anyone who travels to these states may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. We urge you to stay apprised of updates in the news about other areas in the U.S. that are being severely affected.

Update : March 8, 2020 - New York declared state of emergency.

  • Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to an impacted area either abroad or in the U.S., and have respiratory symptoms and a fever, should not return to campus. Please self-quarantine immediately and call Health Services (students) or your health-care provider (faculty and staff) for screening. Then report your status to the university by notifying your supervisor and completing the self-reporting form. Deans and faculty should work with students to manage their coursework and employees should work with their supervisor to determine remote working options during self-quarantine.

  • All university travel authorizations must now be approved by the Vice Chancellor of your department in order to be processed. Vice Chancellors are in the process of reviewing all travel that has previously been authorized and evaluating the need for contingency planning.

We understand you may have questions about the requirement to self-quarantine, and we will have more information about that process over Spring Break. Please stay alert to future communications. All updates will be posted on uncsa.edu/coronavirus.

If you have general questions about the virus or how it spreads, we encourage you call to the North Carolina COVID-19 Helpline: 1-866-462-3821.

We know that these actions may complicate your plans for Spring Break; however, we have come to these decisions with the health and well-being of our entire community in mind.

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

Dear Campus Community,

We are continuing to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are dedicated to the safety of our university and the broader community. At this time, there are no cases in Winston-Salem, however, this afternoon the first COVID-19 case in North Carolina was reported in Wake County. This is a rapidly evolving situation that will continue to change daily.

This morning, chancellors of all 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina System met by conference call with experts from the UNC Health System to discuss the potential effects of COVID-19 on our academic communities. The System Office and our university have plans in place to prepare us for a pandemic, should it occur.

If you must travel during Spring Break, please pay close attention to the travel risks posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

UNCSA is strongly recommending that all travel to areas that have experienced widespread sustained transmission (Level 3) or experienced sustained community transmission (Level 2) be postponed. Not only could visiting these areas put you and those close to you at risk, you could be subject to screening and monitoring when returning to the United States. The list of Level 3 areas is updated by the CDC, and likely will expand as the situation worldwide evolves.

Self-quarantine is recommended for people who have come in direct contact with those who have confirmed COVID-19 illness or who have traveled from areas where COVID-19 has demonstrated widespread sustained ongoing transmission. UNCSA recommends that students, faculty and staff returning from Level 3 areas self-quarantine for 14 days before participating in campus activities. Students and faculty should communicate with their deans to manage their absence during self-quarantine. Staff should work directly with their supervisors.

Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to the affected areas or who have come into direct contact with someone with the diagnosis of COVID-19 and who have a fever with or without respiratory symptoms should seek medical care. Students should contact Student Health Services immediately. Faculty and staff members should contact their primary care physician, and should not come to campus.

We will continue to monitor our response with the UNC System Office and local and state authorities. If the situation escalates, we could change our public health strategy to mitigating the further spread of the virus. This approach could involve social distancing measures to decrease potential contact between large groups of individuals—such as postponing or canceling performances and/or events, moving activities to online channels, or other changes.

We have contingencies planned for administrative departments, medical care, housing, and emergency communications, and the provost has requested that deans work with faculty on plans for academic continuity.

Please remember to exercise the same reasonable precautions used to prevent the spread of viral illnesses: practice good hand hygiene; do not share food, drinks, etc.; avoid close contact with others if you feel sick, and cover your cough or sneeze.

Please visit uncsa.edu/coronavirus for updates about our response and take care of yourselves and each other to help ensure we remain healthy.

Sincerely,

Brian Cole
Interim Chancellor

February 2020

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Dear Campus Community,

With Spring Break approaching, we want you to know that UNCSA continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, as more cases are confirmed in the United States and other countries. We know you are likely hearing a great deal about the virus in the news, but we want to assure you that the exposure risk at UNCSA remains low. There are no suspected or confirmed cases on the UNCSA campus or in North Carolina.

UNCSA continues to work closely with the Forsyth County Health Department and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to monitor the spread of the virus, and we are actively monitoring and following all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and federal guidelines related to this virus. Our teams have also reviewed and updated the UNCSA pandemic response plan and are fully prepared to put the plan into action if necessary.

As you consider travel over the coming break, please be aware that recommendations regarding travel to countries where the virus is present continue to change quickly. We strongly encourage anyone with travel plans to consult the CDC and State Department websites to ensure you are aware of the most up-to-date recommendations. Students, If you are planning to travel to any of the affected areas please complete this form: Self-Reporting International Travel and Potential Exposure Form. Faculty or staff please notify your supervisor, who should report the information to Director of Human Resources Angela Mahoney.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, AND you have traveled to any of the affected areas, you should contact your primary care physician.

Please remember that the standard recommendations to stay healthy during cold and flu season apply to this virus as well:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Frequently clean hands thoroughly by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze (with flexed elbow or tissue), and wash your hands immediately after.
  • Get a flu shot if you have not already.

For further information about the coronavirus and current information on the situation, visit the CDC Novel Coronavirus Website

We understand you may feel anxious as information changes rapidly. Please be sure to consult credible sources like those listed above, and while it is prudent to be cautious, know that the risk at this time in our community is still considered low. We will continue to communicate as the situation evolves, and in the meantime we wish everyone a safe and relaxing Spring Break.

CDC Novel Coronavirus Website

 

New name for disease caused by virus outbreak: COVID-19

(Reported by the Associated Press. Feb. 11, 2020.)

LONDON (AP) – The disease caused by a new virus that emerged late last year in China and has since sickened tens of thousands of people now has an official name: COVID-19.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, the World Health Organization said it had decided on the name after consulting with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Read full story on AP NEWS website.

January 2020

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(The following message from UNCSA Medical Director Dr. Lauren Spillmann and Director of UNCSA Health Services Sharon Summer was emailed to all UNCSA students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.)

As you have no doubt been hearing in the news, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and continues to expand.
 
While the CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time.
 
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the state of North Carolina. UNCSA does not have any suspected or confirmed cases on our campus at this time.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, AND meet any of the following criteria, students should visit Health Services and faculty and staff should contact your primary care physician:

  • In the last 14 days BEFORE your symptoms started, you traveled to or from Wuhan City, China 
  • In the last 14 days BEFORE your symptoms started, you had close contact with a person who is being evaluated for 2019-nCoV
  • In the last 14 days, you have had close contact with a person who was diagnosed with 2019-nCoV using a laboratory test.

How can I protect myself?

Based on CDC guidance, UNCSA encourages faculty, staff and students to avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China, until the situation stabilizes.

We are currently in cold and flu season. The standard recommendations to stay healthy during cold and flu season apply to this virus as well:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Frequently clean hands by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water
  • Cover your cough/sneeze (with flexed elbow or tissue), and wash your hands immediately after
  • Get a flu shot if you have not already

Find Additional Information

For further information about the coronavirus and current information on the situation, visit the CDC Novel Coronavirus Website or the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. For updated travel notices related to the outbreak, visit the CDC's Travelers Health site.

Also, if you are planning to travel to China during spring semester or this summer, please complete this form by the end of the day tomorrow (Thursday): Self-Reporting International Travel and Potential Exposure Form.