Planning our return to campus


Planning our return to campus

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 with clarification for students quarantine and isolation protocol.

Brian Cole with Daniels Plaza in the background

Chancellor Brian Cole welcomes students to campus and addresses arts in the age of COVID-19, as well as precautions that will be necessary at UNCSA.

UNCSA is preparing to resume on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester with the health and wellness of our community as the top priority. Our planning has been informed by guidance from local, state and federal public health authorities, as well as applicable orders and regulations from the governor and relevant federal agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

We will follow the COVID-19 monitoring, containment and response protocols established and updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for colleges and universities. These protocols can be found at

Given the evolving nature of both our understanding of COVID-19 and the recommended guidance from public health and other governmental bodies, please understand that our guidance will be updated periodically to respond to continuing developments. Updates will be communicated by email or through our website.

UNCSA Together Presentation

Academic calendar

The revised academic calendar will minimize travel, reducing potential exposure to the virus while maintaining the instructional days required to meet our academic standards. Key changes include:

  • Classes for the fall semester for undergraduate, graduate and high school students begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and end on Thursday, Nov. 19.
  • Fall and spring breaks have been eliminated, and three Wednesday breaks have been added for each semester.
  • 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 is expanded; the spring semester begins Feb. 8, 2021. 

Hybrid instructional model

UNCSA is preparing to use a hybrid instructional model for the fall semester. Hybrid instruction will maintain our core in-person classes and experiences, following safety guidelines, while incorporating online instructional resources when necessary. Specific details will be published on the individual pages linked below.

Performances and productions

Deans and faculty are developing innovative performance and production plans that prioritize the health and safety of our students while reflecting the evolution of the industry as it faces the effects of COVID-19. More information will be announced.

Move in and orientation

  • Move in will take place by appointment only during the week of Aug. 9-16. Appointments will be held in two-hour increments. You will receive an email inviting you to make your appointment by mid-July.
  • Students and family members will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms by staff upon arriving on campus. 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.
  • Out of state/country students can ship items. Instructions will be sent on how and where to ship items.
  • New and returning students will be required to complete online safety training modules before moving in. Failure to do so will result in appointment cancellation. You will receive a link to the online training by email before move in.
  • Orientation and onboarding will be completed through a hybrid of online modules and in-person sessions. Online orientation and onboarding will take place July 20-Aug. 7. The training is asynchronous. More information will be sent by email.
  • Parent orientation will take place exclusively online July 20-27. No parent orientation will take place in person. 
  • In-person new student orientation will take place Aug. 9-16.

Residential housing and dining

  • Campus housing will be standard, double occupancy in residence halls and apartments. Density will be reduced by having some quads converted to doubles, and some smaller doubles converted to singles.
  • Only residents of an individual room can be in that room. No visitors are permitted.
  • All dining spaces (Cafeteria, POD, Pickle Jar, Library Café) will be open and following all social distancing and safety protocols. In addition, the campus food service vendor has its safety processes and protocols.
  • The cafeteria will be open with reduced seating capacity to allow for social distancing. Self-service options will not be available.
  • More to-go dining options will be offered.
  • During peak times, students will be assigned a time to eat in coordination with class schedules.
  • There will be more spaces for dining in Eisenberg, outdoor locations and on the lower level of Hanes Commons.

UNCSA Together – Community Health Standards

We all must commit to the actions and precautions we can take as individuals to protect our campus community. It will require all of us together to keep our community healthy. We expect all community members to show care for their friends, peers, colleagues and neighbors.

UNCSA community health standards

Health and wellness

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 a licensed 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:


  • UNCSA will require everyone coming onto campus for move in (Aug. 9-16) to complete an in-person health screening, which will include having your temperature taken and answering questions about symptoms and whether you’ve been in contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone who does not pass the screening will have to leave campus. Details about where to go for screening will be emailed in advance of your move-in appointment.
  • All students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a daily COVID-19 screening self-assessment before attending class or coming to work.
  • All campus visitors will be required to take a COVID-19 screening self-assessment before conducting business on campus

Testing and tracing

  • UNCSA will have the capability on campus to test students for COVID-19, in partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Health. Faculty and staff will need to contact their medical provider for testing.
  • Students who refuse to take a COVID-19 test at the request of health services will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Tests are no cost to students, when ordered by a Student Health Services medical provider.
  • If UNCSA has a positive case this fall, a campus-wide notification will be sent, and contact tracing will be conducted by the Forsyth County Health Department with assistance from UNCSA. Forsyth County has hired and trained additional contact tracers to respond to the pandemic. UNCSA continues to be in direct contact with Forsyth County health officials and will work with them closely to implement contact tracing on campus, if necessary.
  • The UNC System is following CDC guidance which  does not recommend full-scale asymptomatic testing for COVID-19 before allowing students, faculty and staff on campus. There currently is not sufficient evidence that entry testing at higher education institutions would reduce person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond expected results of infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection), and the subsequent testing and isolation of symptomatic individuals.

Quarantine and isolation

  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be immediately isolated.
  • Students who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive, as determined by county health officials, will be quarantined on campus for 14 days.
  • Single rooms with bathrooms in residence halls have been reserved for quarantine or isolation. Parents are permitted to take students who test positive for COVID-19 home. Arts and academic departments will work with students on their absence due to illness.
  • Faculty or staff who test positive for COVID-19 must remain at home and notify their supervisor. They will not be allowed to return to campus until they have verification from a medical provider that they have recovered.

Positive Case Protocol 

  • If UNCSA has a confirmed positive case, a campuswide notification will be sent, and contact tracing will be conducted. In Forsyth County, contact tracing will be led by the county health department with assistance from UNCSA. Forsyth County has hired and trained additional contact tracers to respond to the pandemic. UNCSA continues to be in direct contact with Forsyth County health officials and will work with them closely to implement contact tracing on campus, if necessary.
  • Students who test positive will be immediately isolated for 10 days. Students will be released from isolation at the end of the 10 day period if student symptoms have improved, and student has been fever free without fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours.
  • Single rooms in residential facilities have been reserved for quarantine or isolation. Parents are permitted to take their COVID-positive student home. Arts and academic departments will work with students on their absence due to illness.


  •  The mental health and well-being of our students is a top priority. We will continue to support students with counseling, mindfulness sessions, physical exercise, yoga and other activities designed to promote overall wellness, while reinforcing our campus community academically, artistically and emotionally.
  • Because we have eliminated the Fall Break to reduce virus transmission through travel, UNCSA has designated three Wednesdays in the fall semester as “Wellness Wednesdays” when no classes will be held.
  • Faculty and staff who need assistance with mental or emotional health issues may use the UNCSA Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP is an employer-sponsored benefit program that offers support and resources to address personal or work-related challenges and concerns. It is free for employees and members of your household and is completely confidential.

Environmental and physical safety

The UNCSA Environmental Services Department will implement new cleaning protocols for all areas of campus as recommended by the CDC and Environmental Protection Agency. The housekeeping staff has been trained in COVID-specific cleaning protocols as established by the CDC and EPA.

Environmental & physical safety

Directional and Distance signage, reminder mask signage, and hand sanitizer dispenser at the Mail Center.Reminder mask signage and occupancy signage on the doors of Campus Police.Putting together wipe sanitizer stations for dance studios.UNCSA Environmental Health and Safety Director reviews community protective equipment options.Distance signage and hand sanitizer dispensers near the Pickle Jar.Couches and the long bench seating near the Pickle Jar have been removed to create more space between tables.Both standing plexiglass partitions and desktop partitions were built. Protective screens around pianos on stage of Watson Hall.Cleaning duct work in the studios.HEPA/UV filter in practice room.Individual heating and air units in the residence halls are cleaned.Facilities installing air filters. Notice the blue light to the right? It is a UV light. Additional cleaning staff added.Desktop plexiglass partition is installed at the Dining Hall cashier station and hand sanitizer is available.Directional signage and barriers to help guide people in the Dining Hall.The bench seating has been removed and fewer tables and chairs are in the Dining Hall.Directional signage on the floors of first floor Gray building.

Information sessions

The chancellor and deans will host information sessions throughout the summer with students, parents, faculty and staff. Dates and times of upcoming sessions are listed below, along with links to previous sessions. All times are EST.

Upcoming sessions:

Returning Students

Incoming Students

School of Dance - Monday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.

School of Dance - Monday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.

Recorded sessions: