Coronavirus Information

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This compilation of coronavirus-related messages is a searchable resource so the campus community can easily locate topics of interest. It will be updated each morning of the work week. Please visit the Updates page for the latest information.

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New! 

Notice: UNCW Announces Pass/Fail Policy Modifications for Spring Semester 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges students and faculty face in finishing the current semester, UNCW has announced a new policy allowing students in many courses to opt into Pass/Fail grading for many courses after the semester ends and grades are reported. 

"This extraordinary policy, developed collaboratively by the chancellor, deans, faculty leadership and my office, acknowledges that many students are in very unfamiliar teaching and learning territory while navigating all of the personal difficulties related to caring for loved ones and adjusting to new living and working circumstances," Provost Marilyn Sheerer said. 

These adjustments, as outlined below, will offer increased flexibility for many students, who will still be required to work closely with faculty and advisors when evaluating their options for what remains of the semester and going forward.

In light of the current emergency and the sudden alteration in delivery mode across the curriculum, Academic Affairs proposed the following modifications to these policies for Spring ’20 undergraduate courses only, and, a short time ago, Faculty Senate approved the modified policy:

  1. Pass/Fail Process.  All courses will be graded normally, but students may choose to make ANY ELIGIBLE course grade Pass/Fail AFTER grades are submitted. Students have until Tuesday, June 30 2020, to make this choice.
  2. Pass/Fail Definitions. A “P” grade for Spring ’20 requires a D- or better final grade. 
  3. Pass/Fail Credit Application and Exemptions.
  1. “Pass” hours earned in any Spring 2020 course will be counted towards credit hours required for graduation. P/F credits can also be applied to University Studies and major/minor. Deans, in consultation with departments and programs, can exempt certain courses and/or programs from the P/F option when accreditation or other considerations require letter grading. A list of exempted courses will be centrally available.
  2. A grade of Pass will not be factored into GPA; however, eligible courses taken for a Pass WILL count towards earned semester hours, hours in residence, and prerequisite requirements (for courses or major admission) except where the catalog requires a specific minimum grade.
  3. Fail grades will be included in GPA calculations as an F. 
  1. Honors.  The Dean’s List and other university-level, semester-based honors will not be calculated for Spring 2020.
  2. Transcripts from UNCW will bear a note indicating the semester was disrupted by the global COVID-19 emergency.

Information about the graduate school’s amended Pass/Fail policy for spring 2020 will be available here.

"We appreciate the patience and flexibility so many faculty, staff, students and their families have had to put forth as we approached the challenges of the present with an eye toward protecting the future of our students," the provost added. "As always, the university remains committed to continuing to listen and act judiciously and appropriately to support all of our students as we move forward together."

 



Message from Chancellor Sartarelli re. Refunds

March 30, 2020
5:51 p.m.

Dear Campus Community,

I wanted to bring you a critical update that will certainly have an impact on the majority of our students and their families.

Earlier today, during a special meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, Interim UNC System President Bill Roper announced that the UNC System is committed to pro-rated reimbursements of housing and dining funds that have been unused as a result of the University System’s rapid response to COVID-19. The chief financial officers at each institution are working with the UNC System Office to ensure uniformity of processes and calculations for determining refund amounts. Dr. Roper commented: “It is our commitment to all UNC System students to get this done as quickly as possible. It is our obligation to North Carolina taxpayers to get this done right. We hope to be able to announce specifics for processing and issuing refunds in the upcoming weeks.”

 We agree with UNC System leadership regarding the need to expedite applicable refunds, and, upon further guidance from the UNC System, we will do our best to get them processed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We do not have any further information at this time, including the date as of which refunds would be applied, but we will continue to work hard, as a campus leadership team and in collaboration with the UNC System, to bring our students and their families an update soon.

 I have appreciated your patience as we awaited more information on this important topic. I am very much aware of the hardship these circumstances have created for so many of you. Had I been in the same situation during my college education, I don’t know what I would have done. It is my hope that the above update will bring you some relief, even as we continue to work out the nuts and bolts of refunds.

I know many of you are also very eager to receive an update on the possible pass/fail designation option that is to be decided upon this week. Please monitor your inbox for the very latest information.

I hope this email finds you safe and healthy, and I continue to applaud your efforts to adapt to the strange situation we find ourselves in at this time. Our Seahawk spirit continues to shine through, and I am eager to be able to thank all of you for that in person when we are again able to gather as a UNCW family.

Sincerely,

Jose V. Sartarelli

 


Notice: Impacts of State, County Orders

This message is being sent by the Office of University Relations on behalf of various campus units.

March 30, 2020
12:04 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in North Carolina. The statewide order will be in effect through April 30, 2020. Shortly after that, New Hanover County issued additional restrictions, which will be in effect until April 14, 2020. You can learn more about the statewide order here, and the New Hanover County order here. (People in North Carolina must abide by the statewide order; to the extent that a local order contains more restrictive requirements, the more restrictive local order must be followed.)

As has been the case since the activation of teleworking, only those employees whose physical presence is required to ensure the life, health or safety of the students currently in residence halls or to maintain essential operations or infrastructure will be working on campus. Employees who have been previously notified of their mandatory status will continue to report as required, unless otherwise notified by their supervisors. Any students remaining in on-campus housing must abide by all state and county orders and may direct questions or requests for support to the desk receptionist at the Village Clubhouse (910.962-8872).

With teleworking and online/alternate course delivery already in place, minimal impact to the university is expected. Should university operations be significantly affected, campus will be notified via email. Thank you for your continued attention.

 


Update: Thanks; HR Guidance; New (Non-OAP) Withdrawal Date; Grad School Adjustments

March 27, 2020
4:34 p.m.

We made it! Thank you for your efforts to get us through the first week of online/alternate instruction, and, for most employees, the first full week of teleworking. Students, you adapted and put forth a dedicated, optimistic effort to make your new way of learning successful, and we know it wasn’t always easy. Faculty, you pivoted, you recreated and refreshed your plans, and you did everything in your power to offer your students a smooth transition to this very different time. Our staff members continued to be committed to supporting our students and employees in every possible way, including creating some innovative solutions to solve new challenges. We hope all of you will get a chance to take a break this weekend – while implementing social distancing guidelines and following preventive recommendations, of course.

Gov. Cooper issued a stay-at-home order shortly ago, which will take effect at 5 p.m. on Monday. On Monday, the university will share guidance on what this may mean for employees and for students who are housed on campus. 

Employees: Earlier today, HR issued a memo to address special faculty and staff work and leave provisions for April 1-April 30. You can see that memo here. 

On the academic front, an update on withdrawals: Graduate and undergraduate students now have until April 6 to withdraw from any course. The previous deadline was March 30. Those withdrawals will be treated as withdrawals for extenuating circumstances per the UNCW catalog. After April 6, students seeking withdrawals should contact their academic advisor. The OAP withdrawal date remains March 31. Please visit this page for a summary of academic adjustments, including new information regarding temporary Graduate School policy adjustments.

We expect to have an announcement next week regarding possible Pass/Fail designations.

Commencement: We do not yet have any updates on the plans being developed for commencement after last week’s announcement, but we will share information as soon as it is available. Information was shared yesterday re. spring graduates’ regalia; you can read that message here. 

Communications: Any non-emergency updates that become available after business hours, including during weekends, will be issued via campus email and shared to other communication channels upon the resumption of business hours. UNCW will continue to provide emergency notifications when there is an immediate on-campus threat to the health or safety of students or employees, but we urge all employees and students (and their families) to register for emergency alerts from New Hanover County by visiting this page (under “Stay Informed”).

Please be smart to stay safe, Seahawks. Thank you for your continued attention.

       


Notice: UNCW Academic Policy Adjustments

This message is being sent by the Office of University Relations on behalf of the Division of Academic Affairs.

March 25, 2020

4:28 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

In these extremely challenging academic circumstances, the Provost and the Deans have been working with Faculty Senate leadership to modify academic policies to promote the resiliency and flexibility needed to meet current challenges while continuing to foster faculty and student success for the future. The following academic policy adjustments are now in place for Spring 2020:

  1. All undergraduate withdrawals from single courses from March 18-March 30, 2020, will be automatically treated as withdrawals for extenuating circumstances.
  2. After those dates, withdrawals for extenuating circumstances for individual courses related to coronavirus impacts will continue to be considered by Deans on a case-by-case basis.
  3. As previously announced, summer/fall registration has been delayed to April 7 for graduate students, and April 8 for priority undergraduates and will continue from those dates.  Students should arrange virtual appointments with advisors as soon as appointments are available; specific school and college information is available at the Keep Learning site, here.
  4. For the Spring 2020 semester only, the following modifications to our undergraduate retention and dismissal policies are in place:

i.    Spring 2020 will not count towards the enrolled terms students on probation have to regain academic eligibility.

ii.    Students currently on probation can appeal to be retained after the semester if their spring term GPA is between 1.0 and 2.33.

iii.    Students in good academic standing whose Spring 2020 term GPA falls below 1.0 will NOT be subject to term dismissal.

UNCW continues to consider offering additional flexibility around the use of the pass/fail designation. We ask for your patience as we carefully and thoroughly consider this option and its impacts on student success. The university will share an update on this topic next week.

Questions about these policy adjustments should be directed to students’ academic advisors. We are grateful to all our faculty, staff and students as they work to keep our spring semester alive. No policy adjustments can substitute for the goodwill and flexibility we all will need to come through this situation stronger than ever as a Seahawk family.  We appreciate everyone’s efforts to support each other, and to keep teaching and learning.

 


 

Notice: Campus Notifications Update

March 25, 2020
11:53 a.m.

This message is being sent on behalf of the Student Health Center and the Office of University Relations.

Dear Campus Community:

Please read this important emergency notification update carefully. 

As coronavirus testing increases, so will the amount of confirmed cases in our community. While some of the cases will be travel-related, some will be community-spread, meaning the source of the infection will be unclear. (Yesterday New Hanover County announced its first confirmed case of community transmission.) In addition, with most students and employees off campus, there is no guarantee that UNCW will be made aware of all cases with a campus connection. As such, UNCW has determined, in cooperation with New Hanover County Public Health, that our students and employees will be better served by relying on only one official source, New Hanover County Public Health, for notification of positive cases in our area. UNCW will continue to provide emergency notifications when there is an immediate on-campus threat to the health or safety of students or employees. 

We urge all employees and students (and their families) register for emergency alerts from New Hanover County by visiting this page (under “Stay Informed”).

Regardless of increasing community spread, students and employees should continue doing what has been previously advised: practice good prevention techniques, monitor their own health and contact health care providers if they believe they’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms. If students are feeling unwell, they should call the Student Health Center (910.962-5087) if they are on campus or in the Wilmington area, or call their local health care provider. Employees who aren’t feeling well should call their health care providers. 

Anyone personally notified of a confirmed case of coronavirus among people they’ve recently been around should self-quarantine for 14 days. Students and employees who have questions, or who have tested positive for coronavirus, should contact the Student Health Center (910.962-5087 or coronavirus@uncw.edu).

Please register today to ensure you will have the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting our county. Thank you for your continued vigilance.

 


 

March 23, 2020
6:55 p.m. 

New Hanover County has just announced five additional positive coronavirus cases. UNCW is not aware of any connection to employees or students at this time. If that changes, we will notify you via email. We strongly recommend all employees and students (and their families) register for emergency alerts from New Hanover County by visiting this page (under “Stay Informed”). As cases continue to climb in our region, it is critical that our community remains aware of situational updates, and registering for emergency alerts via New Hanover County is an important way of doing that. For those students who have remained on campus, we must remind you of social distancing guidelines: Please keep 6 feet between you and others, including while waiting in line for campus services, and avoid any unnecessary gatherings whatsoever (meals, recreational activities, etc.). Call the Student Health Center (910.962-3280or Counseling Center (910.962-3746) in advance of visiting either location. Continue to take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. For any questions regarding coronavirus, please email the Student Health Center.  Thank you for your continued vigilance.

 


March 22, 2020
8:41 p.m.

The following message was sent to all students.

As you prepare for the resumption of instruction after a tumultuous couple of weeks, we wanted to provide a summary of support resources for your quick reference. Tomorrow begins a unique chapter for us all, and we expect there could be a hiccup or two. As we navigate this experience together, we want to encourage you to be patient and flexible with yourselves, and with all of the instructors and staff who are doing their best to meet your academic, technology, and campus service needs in the midst of extensive coronavirus impacts. Continue to take good care of yourselves, and please take social distancing and other prevention recommendations seriously, wherever you are. Thank you, Seahawks. We are very glad to welcome you back, if only virtually!

Academic Resources

- Keep Learning: This site provides resources and strategies to support an effective transition to remote learning.  

- Randall Library: Please visit this site for information on remote services.

- University College: Academic advising and other support to foster student success.

- University Learning Center: Tutoring, mentoring, and other support will be available fully online.

- Office of International Student & Scholar Services FAQs: International students may visit this link or contact their advisors for guidance.

Technology; Textbooks

- Technology Support:  If you are using Canvas, click here for support. The main Canvas page is here. For all other technical issues, please contact TAC.

- Student Government Association: SGA has volunteered to help curate the resource needs of students who don’t have laptops for use off campus. Contact SGA via email. 

- Many web service providers are offering free or flexible options to those transitioning to online learning. You can read more about that via this ITS article.

- UNCW Bookstore: For information regarding digital textbooks, please visit this site. To initiate a textbook rental return, click here.

Health & Wellness; Hawk’s Harvest

- The Student Health Center and the Counseling Center in DePaolo Hall will remain open. Please visit their websites for more information. If you are unwell, be sure to call the Student Health Center (910.962-3280) in advance of any in-person visits to the Student Health Center or appointments in the Counseling Center.

- Students experiencing food insecurity should visit the Hawk’s Harvest website

Campus Dining & Meal Plans; Housing & Residence Life

- Information about dining locations, call-ahead and to-go orders, and more can be found here.

- Please see the new FAQs for info on One Cards, meal plans, etc.

- The Housing & Residence life website features important updates and resources for those students who have been granted exceptions to remain on campus.

In addition to college-specific guidance you may receive from academic leadership, please visit these sites for more information regarding your college:

- College of Arts & Sciences: https://uncw.edu/cas/

- Cameron School of Business: https://csb.uncw.edu/

- College of Health and Human Services - https://uncw.edu/chhs/covid19/index.html 

- Watson College of Education: https://uncw.edu/ed/coronavirus.html

The Graduate School: https://uncw.edu/gradschool/


ALERT: We have just sent this message via campus email to all students and employees.

March 21, 2020
1:32 p.m.

In compliance with requirements of the Clery Act, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington provides this emergency notification to our campus community.  Earlier today, UNCW health officials were notified that two UNCW students have tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • In the first case, the student left campus for spring break on March 10 and returned to Wilmington on March 17. They have not returned to campus since before their March 10 travel.
  • The second individual left for a study-abroad program in January. They returned from abroad on March 14, via a flight to Charlotte, and returned directly from the airport to their home of origin, which is not in New Hanover County. This student was enrolled in a third-party provider’s program abroad. The individual has not been on campus since before their travel abroad. We are in the process of contacting the small group of UNCW students affiliated with the same city abroad. 

Both students are receiving appropriate treatment and will be isolated for the appropriate amount of time based on CDC guidelines. Those who have been in close contact with the individuals are being notified and will be given instructions by public health officials in their area regarding what their next steps will be. Our Student Health Center team will be in contact with the affected individuals to offer support and guidance as appropriate.

Neither UNCW nor public health authorities will identify any individuals identified as having tested positive, nor provide information that may compromise their confidentiality.

Any member of the UNCW community who is not feeling well should, as a first step, contact their health care provider (employees) or the Student Health Center (students - call 910.962-3280 or email coronavirus@uncw.edu); do not go to health care providers’ locations unless directed to do so by a health care provider. Any employee or student who is tested for the coronavirus, even if the test result is negative, should email the Student Health Center immediately.

You can continue to protect yourself by practicing standard measures for good health (including hand-washing, hydration, getting adequate rest, meaningful nutrition, and other measures of self-care). Clean and disinfect your space at home and in other locations where you spend a lot of time. Stay informed via reliable sources, and proceed with awareness and concern but not panic, as best you can.Campus leadership will continue to monitor the situation and bring you updates as warranted. With an increase in testing, we believe additional confirmed cases may be reported in our region soon, and, in conjunction with New Hanover County Public Health, we will notify you as soon as possible of any additional cases associated with our campus. We all must follow best practices of hygiene and self-care in an effort to help protect ourselves. Please visit UNCW’s coronavirus website for resources and a curation of all updates that have been shared.

Thank you for your continued cooperation as we face these unprecedented circumstances together.

 


March 20, 2020
2:43 p.m.

Dear Class of 2020 and Families:

This continues to be a tense time filled with many adjustments to life as we know it – personally, professionally and academically. My team and I are facing difficult decisions, as are our faculty and staff, that we could not have imagined when the semester began. As the leader of UNCW, I want to reassure you that we are not taking any of these decisions lightly. I had hoped to avoid the decision I’m sharing with you today, but based on the latest federal guidelines and considering how fluid the coronavirus situation is, I’m sorry to report that our May commencement ceremonies will need to be postponed.

We know how hard our spring grads have worked, and how much their families deserve to watch them walk across that stage. We understand how critical a milestone Commencement is for all of us, faculty and staff included. We are disappointed for you and with you. This morning we shared the news that our spring grads will receive their regalia. We are still working out that process, and you will get an email with more information next week. But we know that does not do much to soften this most unfortunate development.

Although no one can predict how the next couple of months will play out, given that conditions are changing daily, you have my commitment that we are considering all possible options in terms of spring commencement ceremonies. I can tell you this: Somehow, we will find a way for our spring graduates to celebrate this achievement. It is simply too soon to say, with any certainty, how that will be done. As the situation continues to evolve, we will share details about the revised plan. Know that this is a priority for us and we will continue to work hard for all of you.

In the meantime, I wanted to take a moment to reassure you that we will continue to do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our employees and our students. I wish you safety and wellness as we navigate this situation together, as Seahawks and as people. I thank you for your patience and understanding as our employees work hard to bring you the best possible remainder of the semester, under these terrible circumstances.

Sincerely,

Jose V. Sartarelli

Chancellor, UNCW

 


March 20

12:51 p.m. (initially shared via UNCW social media)

Seahawk community: We aren't sending this update via campus email, since that distribution list is about 21K people and this info is for a very specific - and very special! - subset of that audience. But we hope you'll agree it's one bit of bright (teal and gold) light in the midst of so much uncertainty right now! While we do not yet have a definitive answer on Commencement, despite media coverage today indicating otherwise, we DO have an answer to the question so many of you have posed over the past 24 hours: No matter how commencement ceremonies may change, YES, you will be able to get your regalia, spring grads! Details are being finalized and we’ll have more info next week. (We do NOT have any details right now, so please hold your regalia questions until after we share the process next week. We also do not yet have any further information about Commencement, but we will share it *as soon as* we do!)


March 19, 2020

5:16 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

Below you will find updates on various elements of coronavirus impacts. Thank you for your patience as we continue to compile the latest information and distribute it to you as quickly as possible. Please remember to take care of yourselves and each other as the situation evolves. Be well, Seahawks.

Health Update

  • At this time, there is no known campus connection to New Hanover County’s first identified presumptive-positive case of coronavirus. If this changes, students and employees will be notified as quickly as possible via campus email.
  • The CDC has elevated all cruise travel to a Threat Level 3. Per the CDC: Travelers should defer all cruise travel worldwide. If you were on a cruise ship in the last 14 days, please contact the Student Health Center (910.962-0587or coronavirus@uncw.edu), and stay home for 14 days from the time you disembark(ed). Practice social distancing, and monitor your health.
  • The Student Health Center and the Counseling Center in DePaolo Hall will remain open. Please visit their websites for more information, and if you are unwell, be sure to call the Student Health Center (910.962-3280) in advance of visiting.

Operations

  • Beginning tomorrow, March 20, campus building access will be reduced, in advance of the UNC System directive that only CDMEs are to report to campus beginning Wednesday, March 25. All employees will retain One Card access to their assigned buildings until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, in order to facilitate the transition to teleworking.  After 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, building access will be limited to employees designated as CDMEs for all or part of their work schedules. Any other building access needed by employees not designated as CDMEs after the close of business on Tuesday, March 24, will require approval by the respective division Vice Chancellor or their designee.
  • All campus dining updates can be found here.

Technology/Academics

  • Many higher education corporate partners are responding to the needs of college campuses facing coronavirus impacts. This includes free, discounted, or expanded web services to higher education institutions. Please see this ITS knowledgebase article for more information.
  • To help maintain consistency and ensure students are equipped to learn wherever they are, BNED has joined VitalSource and leading publishers in providing free access to eTextbooks for the remainder of the semester. Students can read more about this on the Keep Learning website.

Move-Out

  • Parking gates at the East Deck and T lot will remain open until Sunday, March 22, at 5 p.m. Enforcement will be waived until that time in order to support students and families on campus for the move-out process.
  • Housing and Residence Life continues to consider requests for exceptions to the directive to depart campus. Students will be notified as quickly as possible as decisions are made. Requests must be submitted by 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20, for consideration. Please refer to the Housing and Residence Life website for more information.

Communications

 


 

March 19, 2020

9:37 a.m.

Dear Campus Community:

We wanted to answer one of your most pressing questions in real time, as information becomes available to us.

Our first update is a heartbreaking one that we had hoped to avoid. We believe commencement ceremonies will most likely not be able to occur on their scheduled dates in early May. We have been working toward avoiding this outcome, but it may now be inevitable. We know this is devastating news for our spring graduates and their families. We will share additional information as soon as it is available; we understand the need for a confirmed decision, in terms of planning, travel, accommodations, etc.

We so deeply regret the impact this situation is having on our students and their families, and on our employees and their families. We share in your confusion and distress, and we will offer whatever support we can as we continue to navigate the circumstances. Thank you for your understanding.

 


Previous Messaging

March 18, 2020

6:41 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

As previously promised, we are writing tonight to alert you to the announcement that New Hanover County has identified its first presumptive-positive case of coronavirus in the county.  They believe this to be a travel-related case. (We will share the New Hanover County announcement on our website tomorrow; their website appears to be experiencing technical difficulties at this time.)

UNCW health officials have reached out to New Hanover County Public Health officials and we will notify the campus community as soon as possible if there is a suspected risk to our population.

Please continue to follow recommended preventive precautions, including social distancing and washing your hands.

Thank you for continued vigilance during these unprecedented circumstances.


March 18, 2020

2:53 p.m.

Dear Campus Community,

Below is the latest information available on various coronavirus impacts. Employees will receive additional guidance from Human Resources today regarding mandatory/non-mandatory status and special leave provisions. We will continue to share updates as they become available. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.

Is the course withdrawal date changing?

The last day for undergraduates to withdraw from courses with a W has been moved from March 17 to Monday, March 30. For the time being, the graduate withdrawal deadline remains at April 1. If that changes, we will notify campus immediately. Students should contact their academic advisors with any questions.

Are graduate and undergraduate registration dates changing?

Registration for graduate students will begin on April 7. Undergraduate priority registration will begin on April 8 as designated on student time tickets.  Contact your advisor if you have questions about how to schedule a virtual advising appointment.

What should students do if they don’t have web access from off campus?

Students should contact their instructors if they experience any challenges in completing coursework, as they would in any situation. Given the circumstances, instructors are expected to be flexible concerning alternate options. Please see this page for information on providers offering free/flexible web access to students in need.

What should students do if they don’t have laptops to use off campus?

SGA has volunteered to help curate the resource needs of students who don’t have laptops for use off campus. Contact SGA via email

How will I know if any of my courses will require in-person participation?

Based on UNC System guidance, all classes are being conducted online/via alternate means for the remainder of the semester.  Students registered in practicums, field experiences, clinicals, and internships should consult with their managing faculty advisor.

Are textbooks available online?

Most course textbooks are available digitally. In addition, physical textbooks can ordered online and shipped to students’ home. Please visit this site to find online textbook materials for most courses. The bookstore does offer UPS ground, 2nd Day and Next Business Day shipping options. If a textbook is not offered digitally for a course, students should contact their instructors to see if required course materials are available digitally on MySeaport or within Canvas.

Is the registrar’s office operational?

The UNCW Registrar’s Office is operating in an electronic format until further notice. Please email either the direct staff member with whom you need to correspond or registrar@uncw.edu for assistance. Phone correspondence may be minimal, so we highly encourage email as the preferred means of communication.

What should students do if they encounter technical difficulties during online instruction?

If students are using Canvas, they can click here for support.  The main Canvas page is here. For all other technical issues, students should contact TAC.

Is Randall Library open?

Randall Library will be closed to faculty, staff and students, other than Randall Library staff, effective immediately. Remote support will remain available as staffing permits. Please visit this site for more information. As a service within Randall Library, the Technology Assistance Center is not be operational for walk-in support.  We will continue to distribute loaner laptops throughout today only via the loading dock location. Please reach out to vagnerinib@uncw.edu if you need a loaner laptop. TAC can continue to be reached at 910-962-HELP.

Are FSC and FUU open?

All Campus Life facilities will be closed as of Thursday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m. All meetings, events, and reservations in the Fisher University Union, Fisher Student Center, Warwick Center Ballroom, Burney Center, and Amphitheater have been cancelled for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Please visit this site for more information.


March 18, 2020

9:53 a.m.

Dear Campus Community:

UNCW can now officially confirm that online/alternate instruction will remain in effect for the remainder of the spring semester.

Faculty and staff will receive additional information today regarding how this affects their individual departments/roles. Please be patient as supervisors continue to develop effective plans, and as they receive more guidance or information from various campus units.

Students should take this announcement into consideration as they prepare to retrieve their belongings between now and Sunday, March 22, at 5 p.m. Please remember that if students are not able to retrieve their belongings before Sunday at 5 p.m., they will be able to do so during a later time as designated by the university. (Please note that this window may occur a month or more after March 22nd, as no one can predict the course the pandemic will take in the weeks to come.) Rooms will remain locked until that future retrieval window.

Resident students will receive additional information about the move-out process this morning. We are aware of the intermittent technical issues given the flood of users accessing the system, and will communicate an update as quickly as possible.

We will share additional information as soon as it is available. Thank you for your patience as our employees continue to manage this difficult situation to the best of their abilities.


March 17, 2020

6:53 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

We are writing to you to share some important updates in light of the updated guidance from the UNC System earlier today.

Resident students received an email this evening outlining the process for moving out of residence halls. It includes guidance for those already on campus who will be departing, and those currently off-campus who may want to return to retrieve belongings. Resident students were notified that they will receive another communication from their Resident Coordinators before 10 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). Students should direct questions to their Resident Coordinators only after carefully reviewing the information they’ve received. Please be patient, as these staff members are working hard to prepare for the move-out process in their areas.

On the academic front, we are pleased to announce the launch of Keep Learning, a new website developed via a collaboration among SGA, DEel, the Center for Teaching Excellence and ITS. The site will feature technology resources and tools as well as a way for students to submit questions about learning online. Content will be added to the site before and after the resumption of instruction (via online or alternate means) on March 23. SGA is also helping UNCW identify students who don’t have sufficient technology resources or laptops for use off campus; students can contact SGA via email to explore support resources available.

Finally, please see this curation of offerings from internet service providers in support of students/instructors who will be shifting to online/alternate instruction.

Employees, please note that Human Resources is in the process of conveying information and guidance to supervisors about the designation of “Communicable Disease Mandatory Employees.” Additional guidance will be shared with all employees tomorrow (Wednesday) regarding special leave provisions as conveyed by the UNC System.

Additional updates will be shared tomorrow. Thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation.

 


March 17, 2019
12:41 p.m.

Dear Campus Community:

Below this message is a media release as issued shortly ago by the UNC System. We are doing what we can to develop detailed plans as to how this new guidance will apply to UNCW students and employees. This is a brief message meant to share the information that is already confirmed; we assure you that we will issue additional updates later today, and in the coming days, as information is confirmed. We are aware employees, students and families will have significant questions; please allow us time to develop a comprehensive update for you based on this new guidance.

Based on new UNC System guidance as of this morning, UNCW is requiring all students to return to their permanent residences, or to remain in their current off-campus locations, if circumstances permit. Exceptions will be made for students who believe they need to remain in residence halls. These exceptions will be considered in extraordinary cases, including if students may not have safe and suitable alternative living arrangements, or if they have prohibitive travel restrictions or exceptional ongoing academic commitments. We are developing criteria for students who will be permitted to remain in the residence halls and we will share that information, as well as details as to how to submit an exception request, by 10 a.m. tomorrow.

We will also share information by 10 a.m. tomorrow regarding when and how students can come retrieve belongings before returning home. We are working as quickly as we can to develop an organized, safe process for our students and their families. Campus dining and some campus services will be available for those who remain on campus. We will share details as soon as they are established, including information on how we will demonstrate social distance recommendations as it pertains to dining services.

As previously shared, events with more than 100 attendees are cancelled and there will be no exceptions granted. Per the UNC System guidance: “Each institution should cancel or postpone gatherings that assemble 50 or more individuals in a single room or space, or find alternative means of meeting, such as by video or telephone conference.  Any events or gatherings that meet or exceed the 50-person threshold will require the approval of the chancellor.”

There is not yet information about the impact of these developments on Commencement. We will share that information as soon as System guidance is issued. Please know we understand how important this milestone event is for our students and their families as well as for our faculty and staff, and we appreciate the need for travel planning. With all of that in mind, we will share decisions as soon as they are made.

EMPLOYEES

Special faculty and staff leave provisions will be in effect through March 31, 2020. (We are awaiting guidance regarding when these provisions took or will take effect.) These provisions are designed to align with social distancing guidelines, including remote work and telework wherever possible, and to allow for paid administrative leave when such remote work/telework options are not available. Employees should consult their supervisor for specific instructions on how they are to proceed. Institutions may have discretion to offer paid administrative leave. These provisions are extended to include student and temporary employees. We will issue additional guidance as soon as it is available, including information about mandatory employee designation and additional telework and leave guidelines. After reading that guidance as issued, employees, including student employees, should consult with their supervisors with questions.

ACADEMICS

Spring break remains in effect for this week as instructors and students prepare to move to online/alternate instruction on March 23. OAP students and students enrolled in fully online/distance ed courses should consult with instructors for guidance, as it may be different than guidance provided for the rest of the student population.

We do not yet know if online/alternate instruction will be in effect for the remainder of the semester. Instructors will continue to share information regarding adapted coursework directly with students as it is available, and instructors should be students’ first point of contact with any questions specific to courses. Instructors should continue to consult the Keep Teaching website as well as their chairs and deans for additional guidance. Within the 24 hours, we will be sharing information on a “Keep Learning” site for students, which will feature resources, tools and tips for students as they adjust to online/alternate instruction. This will include information for students who do not have laptops or reliable internet access from off campus, with special thanks to SGA leadership for their hard work.

MISCELLANEOUS

-  All university-related business travel, both international and domestic outside of North Carolina, remains prohibited. Please see previous guidance.

-  All students currently studying abroad, regardless of location, have been recalled, in accordance with a UNC System directive. Students returning from Threat Level 3 areas are in or will be in self-quarantine off-campus for 14 days following their return date. The students who are self-quarantining will receive regular contact from the Student Health Center. Students who have questions about self-quarantining should contact the Student Health Center (910.962.0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu). We are asking that students self-quarantine off-campus and we cannot support students self-quarantining on campus. We will do our best to help students locate suitable off-campus options if they don’t have easy access to such spaces. Students should contact the Student Health Center (910.962.0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu) for assistance.

-  We are not yet able to offer information regarding partial housing/dining refunds without authority or guidance from the UNC System. We will share any updates when available. 

This is a very upsetting situation for all involved. We are doing our best to provide you with all the resources you may need to navigate these uncertain times. Please continue to consult the UNCW coronavirus site as well as the resources below. We will share additional updates as soon as they are available.

 Student Health Center Coronavirus Site

-  Employee Assistance Program | Employees have access to confidential professional assistance through EAP.

-  Counseling Center 

- Food insecurity: Students experiencing food insecurity should visit the Hawk’s Harvest website

Teleworking resources: Please consult with resources provided by HR and ITS 

Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we develop and share detailed plans with you. We are moving as quickly and efficiently as we can to address all topics and questions, and we have appreciated the unity and spirit illustrated by our employees and our students and their families during this unprecedented situation.

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2020

UNC System Updates Guidance to Constituent Institutions

CHAPEL HILL, NC - The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present constantly evolving challenges for the UNC System’s leaders, students, faculty, and employees. The entire University of North Carolina System continues to work diligently to protect the health and safety of our campus communities during this unprecedented public health emergency. After consulting with the Governor’s office, the Board of Governors, and other state leaders, Interim President Bill Roper has updated previous guidance issued to System institutions last week.

  • All institutions will continue to move from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20. University leaders will determine which classes, such as those with labs, will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance. 
  • In order to substantially reduce the number of students on campus and in university housing, each constituent institution will:

- Instruct students who occupy university housing to remain at, or return to, their permanent residences unless granted an exception by the institution; exceptions will be limited to situations where students establish significant need to remain in university housing; and 

- Establish an exceptions process, with an appropriate health screening, that allows students to remain in university housing if they establish a legitimate and significant need to do so;

- Reduce campus dining operations to takeout or similar options, with the expectation for smaller numbers of students remaining on campus.

  • Institutions will continue to work with local public health officials, and other community members to develop plans to accommodate needs for quarantine or isolation, should it become necessary.
  • In light of the CDC guidance announced this week, each institution should cancel or postpone gatherings that assemble 50 or more individuals in a single room or space, or find alternative means of meeting, such as by video or telephone conference.  Any events or gatherings that meet or exceed the 50-person threshold will require the approval of the chancellor. Keep in mind the CDC and White House have recommended avoidance of gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Institutions will continue to utilize teleworking arrangements, identify mandatory employees needed for continued operations during the COVD-19 pandemic and exercise discretion for granting paid administrative leave, where appropriate. 

Individual UNC System institutions will issue detailed implementation updates for their respective campuses.

UNC System institutions are adapting quickly as circumstances evolve, remaining focused on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and the delivery of our core academic mission.

 


March 17, 2020
12:08 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Please see the guidance as issued by the UNC System moments ago. We will be sharing a UNCW update within the next 30 minutes regarding how this guidance specifically applies to our campus. Thank you for your continued patience.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2020

UNC System Updates Guidance to Constituent Institutions

CHAPEL HILL, NC - The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present constantly evolving challenges for the UNC System’s leaders, students, faculty, and employees. The entire University of North Carolina System continues to work diligently to protect the health and safety of our campus communities during this unprecedented public health emergency. After consulting with the Governor’s office, the Board of Governors, and other state leaders, Interim President Bill Roper has updated previous guidance issued to System institutions last week.

  • All institutions will continue to move from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20. University leaders will determine which classes, such as those with labs, will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance. 
  • In order to substantially reduce the number of students on campus and in university housing, each constituent institution will:

- Instruct students who occupy university housing to remain at, or return to, their permanent residences unless granted an exception by the institution; exceptions will be limited to situations where students establish significant need to remain in university housing; and 

- Establish an exceptions process, with an appropriate health screening, that allows students to remain in university housing if they establish a legitimate and significant need to do so;

- Reduce campus dining operations to takeout or similar options, with the expectation for smaller numbers of students remaining on campus.

  • Institutions will continue to work with local public health officials, and other community members to develop plans to accommodate needs for quarantine or isolation, should it become necessary.
  • In light of the CDC guidance announced this week, each institution should cancel or postpone gatherings that assemble 50 or more individuals in a single room or space, or find alternative means of meeting, such as by video or telephone conference.  Any events or gatherings that meet or exceed the 50-person threshold will require the approval of the chancellor. Keep in mind the CDC and White House have recommended avoidance of gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Institutions will continue to utilize teleworking arrangements, identify mandatory employees needed for continued operations during the COVD-19 pandemic and exercise discretion for granting paid administrative leave, where appropriate. 

Individual UNC System institutions will issue detailed implementation updates for their respective campuses.

UNC System institutions are adapting quickly as circumstances evolve, remaining focused on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and the delivery of our core academic mission.

 


March 16, 2020

7:01 PM

Dear Campus Community:

There is not much new information to share at this point, as our faculty, staff and students use this time to prepare for online/alternate instruction beginning Monday, March 23. We have included a few “hot topics” below, and you can find all messaging to date here, and all FAQs to date here. If you do not see a topic addressed below or within the FAQs, it means there is not yet confirmed information to share. We will continue to do our best to bring you confirmed updates as soon as they are available. Thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation.

How will students know if any of their courses will require in-person participation once instruction resumes on March 23?
There will be no in-person courses conducted by WCE, CHHS, or CSB until further notice. All organized courses in CAS will be conducted online or via alternate means with the exception of courses that involve DIS, Honors Thesis, Grad Thesis, Dissertation or individual music instruction activity. Students in those courses may be expected to participate in person; they will be notified by instructors by or on Wednesday, March 18. If students are unable to participate in person, instructors will develop alternate means of instruction.

Are any assignments due over the extended spring break?
With the exception of Online Accelerated Program courses, classes will not be in session the week of March 16 and non-OAP students will not be expected to turn in assignments during this week, nor will they be penalized for turning in assignments by or on the adjusted deadline, as set by the instructor. Students should not bring completed assignments to instructors’ offices during the extended spring break.

How will students and employees know which campus service locations may be operating under reduced hours?
Please check individual campus service location websites for the latest information.

Where should international students direct questions about their academic progress, travel status, etc.?
International students should contact their International Student Advisors, or check the OISS FAQ page.

How are the men’s basketball team student-athletes and staff, who have been self-quarantined since March 7, doing?
None of the student-athletes or staff has displayed any symptoms as of Monday, March 16.


March 14, 2020
6:52 PM

Dear Campus Community:

We are awaiting guidance from the UNC System as to the potential impacts of Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order, announced late this afternoon and shared just before 6 p.m. today, concerning the closing of NC’s public schools for the next two weeks; and the mandatory limit of 99 attendees or fewer for events. We will share more details as soon as they are available. At this time, students remain able to return to their residence halls as of 10 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday). We will send a confirmation of this by 7 a.m. tomorrow, but we have no expectation that it will change. Students: When considering your return date, please remember that online/alternate instruction will not begin until Monday, March 23, and student services will be limited during the extension of spring break (the Rec Center is closed until further notice, campus dining is operating under reduced hours, etc.). You may be more comfortable remaining where you are for the extended break, so we continue to encourage students to wait until next weekend to return, if at all possible. Employees: We expect to have additional guidance for you (including our DC Virgo employees) on Monday, March 16, regarding possible campus impacts. Thank you all for your patience as we continue to assess this new development.

 


March 13, 2020

5:39 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Thank you for your patience as we continue to assess campus impacts as a result of the coronavirus situation. As you can imagine, decisions as important as these require a great deal of information, input from multiple stakeholders, and adequate time to curate the updates into the communications you’re receiving. Various campus units are working tirelessly to continue to bring you updates as quickly as possible. Below is what we can confirm for you as of 5:30 p.m.

We have an update for you on our earlier message concerning the self-quarantine of several student-athletes and staff members. The university has been notified that the referee who tested positive didn’t exhibit symptoms until Tuesday, March 10. Therefore, the probability that the referee was contagious at the March 7 UNCW basketball game is very low – and the chance that a player would have contracted the virus from the referee is even lower. The likelihood that anyone else (those who may have been exposed to players, but not the referee) would contract the virus is extremely low – there are no recommendations for this group (those who may have been exposed to players, but not the referee) to take any precautions other than the basic preventive steps health officials have asked everyone to perform (including washing one’s hands, staying home when sick, covering coughs, etc.). In the unlikely event that a self-quarantined student-athlete or staff member develops symptoms and tests positive, people who interacted with that athlete or staff member would most likely be asked to self-monitor for any symptoms (fever, cough, etc.). Many of you have asked if those now in self-quarantine have visited any campus locations. We can share that since their return to Wilmington on March 8, our student-athletes made very brief visits to their residence halls, primarily to retrieve belongings, and to Trask Coliseum, to drop off equipment. Our self-quarantined student-athletes have not been on campus since March 9. We continue to clean and disinfect all campus buildings with great attention, and those locations are included in that effort.

As you may know, New Hanover County Public Health has been made aware of several county residents being tested for  for COVID-19 and will be monitoring each person. New Hanover County Health and UNCW will update the public immediately if any of those tests comes back positive. We must reiterate that you should not believe or share information you haven’t personally verified to be true. Rely on only reliable sources for public health information and guidance, and be mindful of how your social media commentary may cause undue panic.

Following CDC  guidelines for social distancing and consistent with decisions made regarding instruction being offered online or via alternate means, most campus meetings and events are being cancelled. Small gatherings and events that can be appropriately managed by social distancing policies may be permitted to continue; this remains under consideration. More information will be shared with event/meeting organizers as details are confirmed. Until further notice, the Student Recreation Center will be closed and all club sports competitions are canceled. Starting Monday, March 23, the Fisher Student Center and Fisher University Union will operate under amended hours until further notice (see below for details).

Please continue to monitor your campus inbox and this site for updates. We do not anticipate we will have additional information until Monday, March 16, but in the event of an urgent update before then, campus will be notified via email, social media and the university’s coronavirus website. Thank you for your continued cooperation and diligence.

How will this situation affect campus locations?

Please check campus service location websites for the latest information, including the Campus Dining and Randall Library websites. Until further notice, the Student Recreation Center will be closed and all club sports competitions are canceled. Seahawk Adventure Travels will continue as scheduled. Gazebo Fields are open and the Rec Fields will be open for small groups. Starting Monday, March 23, the Fisher Student Center and Fisher University Union will operate under amended hours until further notice: Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m.-7 p.m. Information about the campus dining locations within Fisher Student Center and Fisher University Unions will be available on the campus dining website.

Will books be made available online?

We are still assessing all options to support the execution of online/alternate instruction. As soon as we have more information, we will share it.

What should students do if they aren’t confident in their ability to access the internet for online instruction from off-campus?

Instructors will do their best to make reasonable accommodations for students without internet access from off-campus. As soon as we have more information, we will share it.

I have a roommate who traveled internationally over spring break. I’m concerned about being exposed.

Students who have travelled to a country with a Level 3 Travel advisory will be asked to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days before returning to campus. Students with concerns about potential exposure should contact the Student Health Center (910.962-0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu) for assistance.

Can students self-quarantine in their residence halls?

We are asking that students self-quarantine off-campus and we cannot support students self-quarantining on campus. We will do our best to help students locate suitable off-campus options if they don’t have easy access to such spaces. Students should contact the Student Health Center (910.962-0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu) for assistance.

Will there be refunds offered for campus housing if students choose not to return to campus?

The university will not be offering refunds for students who choose not to return to the residence halls. Students who need to be excused from their housing contracts due to medical conditions which would not allow them to remain in student housing should contact the Disability Resource Center (910.962-7555).

How will this situation affect international students’ academic progress?

Online/alternate instruction will be available to all international students for the remainder of the semester, regardless of whether in-person instruction resumes on campus.

Can employees bring laptops/desktops home if they are approved for teleworking? 
If employees have been approved for teleworking, they are permitted and encouraged to take their laptops home. If employees do not have a laptop, they should contact ITS at vagnerinib@uncw.edu. A list of campus needs continues to be compiled. Taking desktops home will require permission from employees’ supervisors; employees will need to follow the checkout process developed by their departments. Re. updates and virus protection software: Laptop and desktop computers will update automatically when turned on and connected to the campus network. To manually install updates, users should go to the Start button on their computers and search for “Software Center,” then look at “Updates.” If users have updates available they can install them. More information can be found here. Additional ITS resources may be found here.
 
How do I know if I’m a mandatory/essential employee?
Mandatory employees are employees who are required to work during a public health emergency because their positions have been designated by the university as mandatory to operations during the emergency. You will be notified by your supervisor if you are designated as a mandatory employee and of the requirement to report for or remain at work in emergency situations, or to work from home or other alternative location as deemed appropriate. 
 
Is there any update on Seahawk Preview Day?
Unfortunately, we must postpone Seahawk Preview Day (previously scheduled for March 28). At this time we have not rescheduled the event, but we are reviewing options and will update admitted students and the campus community as soon as possible. Updates will be available here.

 


March 13, 2020
9:17 AM

Dear Campus Community:

We promised we’d share all the information we can, as soon as we can, so we are writing to you this morning with this important update: An official who worked at the UNCW-Drexel MBB game on March 7 has tested positive for COVID-19. In an abundance of caution and following CDC guidelines, 12 student-athletes and 13 staff members are now self-quarantining off campus. The recommended 14-day window for self-quarantining will expire on March 21. We are hoping our aggressive response to this potential exposure will serve as a model to our community. In addition, the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has confirmed a dependent patient has tested presumptive-positive for COVID-19. We have no reason to believe any UNCW personnel or students have come in contact with this dependent patient, but we will alert the community immediately if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus among the UNCW population.

We will continue to share updates as they become available. Thank you for your ongoing patience.


March 12, 2020

7:49 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Thank you for your patience as we continue to develop plans for the coming weeks. As promised, we have some new information for you this evening (below). This is by no means a final or comprehensive curation; we will continue to update you when there is something new to share. If you don’t see a topic addressed here, it does not mean it is not being considered; it simply means there is not yet enough information to make or share a final decision.

Spring break remains extended through next week. We encourage resident students to return just before classes resume on March 23. As previously conveyed, when classes resume on March 23, nearly all will be offered via online instruction or alternate means. The decision as to whether there will be any face-to-face instruction is under careful consideration and will be conveyed by Wednesday, March 18. We cannot emphasize enough that this will be the exception and not the rule. Instructors are planning accordingly for the resumption of classes and will communicate with students directly next week. 

It is still too soon to make decisions concerning events scheduled to take place this spring, summer programs on campus or abroad, or Commencement. We don’t have an answer on when we will have enough information to make those decisions. We understand the anxiety this must be causing. This is such a fluid situation and it is impossible to predict the circumstances of each day, much less the coming months. We promise you that we are working non-stop to assess conditions, consider all options, and make the decisions we believe to be best for our community. This is an unprecedented situation, and institutions around the world (higher education and otherwise) are facing decisions that will shape the present and the future in profound ways. We thank you for continuing to afford us the time and patience such important decisions require. Please visit this site for reliable resources, a compilation of all campus updates, and other information we hope you’ll find valuable.

Why is UNCW allowing students to return to campus if, in nearly all cases, they aren’t allowed to attend classes in person? 

Current guidance from the CDC and our higher education peers indicates that as long as students and employees practice basic social distancing (see below), there is not an increased risk of the spread of the virus. Our students’ and employees’ health is our top priority and we would never make any decisions that could jeopardize their safety. If expert guidance changes, we will respond accordingly. We are evaluating operating hours and procedures for all campus locations and will share more information when it’s available.

What is social distancing and how should it be practiced on campus?

According to the CDC, social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. We are working hard to develop plans for our community to effectively practice social distancing. This may include limiting campus gatherings, adjusting seating in common spaces, adjustments to how students and employees engage in campus services, etc. We are finalizing these plans as quickly as possible and will share more information when it’s available.

Are any classes at all being held in person?

A very small number of classes will be held in person, in extreme cases only, where coursework absolutely cannot be completed online/via alternate means. Instructors are evaluating all classes in collaboration with academic leadership, and if any classes are to take place in person, students will be notified before Wednesday, March 18. We cannot emphasize enough that this will be very few classes, and will be the exception and not the rule.

What steps are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus?

Campus leadership and the units tasked with coordinating the university’s response to communicable diseases of concern have been monitoring the disease for several weeks. The university has increased communications about COVID-19 and preventive measures, stocked supplies as available, and coordinated with local, state and national authorities. UNCW has worked closely with faculty and students involved in programs abroad to mitigate their concerns and, if necessary, expedite their return to the U.S. Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, limiting the exposure of students, faculty and staff to COVID-19, and preventing its spread. to the best of our abilities.

What is the status of university operations at this time?

To best support and protect the health and welfare of the campus and our community, spring break has been extended by one week. Resident students may come back to campus beginning Sunday, March 15, at 10 a.m., but are encouraged to remain off-campus until just before classes resume on March 23. Instructors are currently preparing their plans for providing coursework via alternate means, which may include online instruction and/or special assignments. A very small number of classes will be held in person, in extreme cases, where coursework absolutely cannot be completed online/via alternate means. Instructors are evaluating all classes in collaboration with academic leadership, and if any classes are to take place in person, students will be notified before Wednesday, March 18. We cannot emphasize enough that this will be very few classes, and will be the exception and not the rule.

How will I know if events have been canceled?

Please visit the websites and/or social media feeds affiliated with the programs sponsoring the events for the latest scheduling information.

What is the plan for Commencement? 

We understand our students’ anxiety, and that of their families, about the possibility of Commencement being affected by the coronavirus situation. Unfortunately, it is just too soon to make a decision about potential impacts. UNCW is actively working on contingency plans if needed and will communicate those plans as appropriate. We do not have any further information at this time but promise to keep our community posted.\

What does it mean to self-quarantine?

To self-quarantine means to stay home and limit interactions with other people as much as possible for 14 days. During self-quarantine the Student Health Center asks that people take their temperature twice a day, and if they develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, they should contact their health care provider immediately. Students who are in Wilmington should call the Student Health Center at 910.962-3280 to arrange care. Students who have traveled home or elsewhere for spring break should contact a local health care provider first and notify the Student Health Center at coronavirus@uncw.edu or 910-962-0587.Employees should contact their local health care provider and then notify the Student Health Center at coronavirus@uncw.edu or 910.962-0587.

Can UNCW test for coronavirus?

UNCW’s Student Health Center is available to discuss symptoms with students and screen for risk for coronavirus, and, if clinically indicated, is able to assist with testing. Students should call the Student Health Center’s main number (910.962-3280) to make an appointment. Employees should call their health care provider to discuss the possibility of screening/testing. All students and employees should notify the Student Health Center at coronavirus@uncw.edu if they have been tested off campus for coronavirus. In all cases, those not feeling well should call their providers before traveling to their providers’ locations.

If employees or students don’t feel well but aren’t sure if it’s coronavirus or the flu, allergies, etc., what should they do?

Students who are experiencing these symptoms, especially during or after international travel, should notify the Student Health Center immediately (910.962-3280). Faculty and staff who are not feeling well should call their health care providers, but should also notify the Student Health Center (coronavirus@uncw.edu) in the event of these symptoms. In all cases, those not feeling well should call their providers before traveling to providers’ locations.

What assistance is available to help students and employees cope with anxiety related to this situation?

This is a worrisome time for us all, and we hope students and employees won’t hesitate to reach out if they need support. Employees should connect with Human Resources, or contact  Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a confidential resource available to help employees through stressful situations and events. Students should contact the Counseling Center to make an appointment. The Counseling Center is not able to provide remote support at this time, but will do everything possible to see any students in need. To make an appointment or to consult with a counselor, students should call 910.962-3746.

I’m scheduled to attend a conference. I understand my travel is no longer funded by the university, but am I still allowed to attend? Would I have to go through quarantine after returning?

The university is adhering to the UNC System guidance regarding avoiding events with 100 or more attendees, and strongly discourages participation in any such event or conference. All efforts should be made to participate remotely via Zoom or Skype. Self-quarantine may be required depending on the current CDC travel advisory for the area.

Where should students go if they don’t have a location for self-quarantining?

Although the university may not be able to provide facilities for self-quarantine, we will do our best to help students locate suitable off-campus options if they don’t have easy access to such spaces. Please contact the Student Health Center (910.962-0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu) for assistance. The university cannot provide funding for students or employees in self-quarantine.

Will summer study abroad programs, or summer events on campus, be affected?

We understand that waiting for these decisions is challenging and stressful, but it is too early for us to make any determination about summer programming. We will share any decisions as soon as they are made. 

If I have to self-quarantine, will my absences from class be excused?

As always, we encourage students to reach out to their instructors as soon as possible to work through details related to class absences, no matter the reason. It is worth noting, however, that someone who is self-quarantining is considered healthy. Instructors will be as flexible as possible with attendance requirements as the university community navigates this situation.

How will the coronavirus situation affect students’ academic progress?

The university is working closely with academic leadership to refine and launch online and/or alternate means for students during this unprecedented time. All instruction hours will be fulfilled, either through face-to-face instruction (in a very small number of classes) or through alternate means. Students who have any concerns about their academic progress should contact their academic advisors.

Are there any cases of coronavirus on campus, or among our students/employees who have recently traveled?

At present, no cases have been reported involving UNCW students or employees. 

How will I be notified if a case of coronavirus is diagnosed at UNCW or in the Wilmington area?

UNCW will notify campus in the event that a case of the coronavirus is reported at UNCW or in New Hanover County. Please do not share or believe updates you have not personally verified to be accurate. We strongly encourage students and employees to trust only the information provided by the university or the Health Department.  

How long will classes operate only online/via alternate means?

We do not yet know, given that we are still in the relatively early stages of the situation. Instructors and students should consider that this approach could be in effect for the remainder of the semester, but the university will make every attempt to resume normal class instruction as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. There is just no way to tell at this point.

If I live on or near campus, can I attend classes in person?

Unless otherwise notified by instructors, students are expected to participate in coursework solely via online instruction or alternate means.

How will students or instructors involved in coursework that simply cannot occur online achieve their academic goals?

Instructors should discuss this with their chairs or deans to determine the best options for their circumstances. Once plans are final, instructors will share that information with their students.

Will students receive refunds for unused housing and meal plans? How can students receive refunds for university-affiliated trips that have been canceled?

We are still assessing the impacts on all student expenses/payments. Our priorities at this point are to do everything we can to protect our community’s health and safety, and to solidify and support academic planning and execution. We will share updates on applicable refunds when decisions have been made.

How will online classes affect international students’ I-20, DS-2019 and visa status? 

As classes for our international students were not intended to be online, the university understands that this is not the experience students were expecting. The UNCW Office of International Programs has received governmental guidance that flexibility can and should be offered during these circumstances. Provided international students can continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations, students’ legal immigration status will not be in jeopardy. International students and scholars should contact the Office of International Programs with any questions or concerns. 

How should instructors work with students who have been negatively affected by this situation? 

Instructors should be prepared to offer flexibility to students who are experiencing negative impacts as a result of the coronavirus situation. Instructors will, at their discretion, clearly communicate expectations and opportunities around alternate means of completing coursework.

Will campus visits and tours still take place as scheduled? 

Please check this website for updates on admissions events (scroll down to News and Events). Applicable updates concerning Seahawk Preview Day will be shared here, but registered attendees would also be notified of any schedule changes with an email (and a text message, if they shared their mobile phone numbers during the application process).

What steps should supervisors take to prepare for disruptions to business continuity? 

Supervisors should be discussing their units’ COOPs and preparing for the possibility of teleworking for some or all employees. Further guidance is available here.

Can supervisors allow student employees to work remotely? 

In exceptional situations, it may be necessary for student employees to work remotely.  Supervisors should consult with their leadership about specific situations to determine the best course of action.

If students had assignments due on Monday, March 16, has that deadline been updated to Monday, March 23?

As classes will not be in session on March 16, students will not be expected to turn in assignments on March 16, nor will they be penalized for turning in assignments by or on the adjusted deadline, as set by the instructor.

If students had appointments set with academic advisors, the health center, or other campus locations for the week of March 16, will those appointments still take place?

Any appointments set for the week of March 16 will no longer occur in person or remotely, as instructors and other employees will be occupied preparing for the shift to online/alternate instruction on March 23 and the resultant campus impacts. The Student Health Center is open the week of March 16. Students should call 910.962-3280 to make an appointment.

 


March 12, 2020

4:34 PM

Dear Campus Community:

As promised last evening, we will be providing additional information about these extraordinary circumstances – and their impact on our campus – as soon as it is available. I am writing to you now simply to share a message of support for all of you, given the mounting distress and uncertainty you are inevitably facing by now. We may be able to assure you that more information is coming, as tough decisions continue to be made, but that does little, I’m sure, to reduce your collective unease. My leadership team and I, in collaboration with our outstanding faculty and staff, are doing the best we can to resolve current and emerging issues. We are working on virtually nothing else. We must continue to ask for your patience as we finalize plans and determine exactly how to proceed. We would rather take the time now to be judicious and thoughtful than to rush information out that may change. I hope you agree that that’s the best way forward. We have now launched a comprehensive website for updates and resources, building upon the Student Health Center site previously offered. We will add information to the new site as developments warrant. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t caution you against sharing information you haven’t personally verified to be true; we are seeing a great deal of rumors and hypotheses shared online, among our various audiences. We have to trust you, as ambassadors of our campus community, to be responsible about information, knowing the damage misinformation can cause. I will quote UNC System Interim President Bill Roper here by saying concern about the current situation is warranted, but panic is not. We are all in this together, and we must be able to count on each other’s support during these very difficult times. Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation. We expect to share additional information this evening.

Sincerely,

Jose V. Sartarelli
Chancellor, UNCW

 


March 11, 2020

8:04 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Thank you for your patience as we continue to develop a comprehensive plan for the coming weeks based on the UNC System guidance received late this afternoon. We felt it was important to convey the update from the System, including the new information regarding the extension of spring break, before you heard it via the media or elsewhere; this forced us to communicate with you before we had a chance to create a more comprehensive message, regrettably.

We are working hard to interpret the UNC System guidance as it applies to our campus. For now, we can provide the information you see below. We know there are many additional questions regarding specific travel situations, academic impacts, international students, and other areas. We are developing answers as quickly as possible and will share as many updates as possible over the next 24 hours. We will also be introducing a website that curates all available information to date, health and campus resources, and tools and support for instructors as they prepare to deliver instruction via alternate means. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during these very challenging circumstances. 

What does the extension of spring break mean?
Spring break has been extended through next week. Instruction will resume on March 23. Nearly all classes will be conducted through alternative means. This may include online instruction or alternative assignments, at the discretion of instructors. Instructors will provide more information as soon as it is available. Very few courses, if any, will be held face-to-face. Instructors of classes that will resume in person will notify students as soon as possible. Again, this will be a very small number of classes.

Will spring break also be extended for OAP students?
OAP students should adhere to their typical schedule, with classes resuming on Monday, March 16.

If students don’t have a reliable internet connection from off campus and are expected to participate in online instruction, will they be penalized by instructors?

Instructors will be as flexible as possible in managing these unprecedented circumstances. No student will be penalized for an inability to participate in coursework as a direct result of this situation, but students must communicate with their instructors to discuss alternate means of completing coursework if they are unable to do so for any reason, as they would in any situation.

When can resident students return to campus?
Residence halls that were closed for spring break will reopen Sunday, March 15, at 10 a.m. Students won’t be permitted to enter residence halls that had been closed before that time. (Seahawk Landing, Crossing and Village along with University Suites did not close for break.) However, we encourage resident students to wait to return to their residence halls until next weekend (March 21-22), just before instruction resumes on March 23.

When should RA or residence hall desk assistants return to work?
RA and residence hall desk assistants will receive an email from supervisors regarding their return to work. If those employees have not received an email before Thursday, March 12, at 12 p.m., they should contact their supervisors.

Will students be able to attend classes in person beginning March 23?
Very few, if any, classes will be held face to face. We expect the vast majority of instruction to be converted to alternative means, which may include online instruction or alternative assignments. Instructors will be in touch with students as soon as their plans are complete. Students in classes that will resume in person will be notified as soon as possible.

Can students remain off campus, even if they normally live on campus, and attend classes online?
Yes, if instructors are offering instruction online. Many instructors will be providing alternate means of instruction. A small number of specialized classes may occur in person. Instructors will send updates to students regarding plans for individual classes as soon as plans are final. Please be patient as instructors consider these decisions and prepare their materials for alternative course delivery. If students have questions about how they can complete coursework after they have received updates from their instructors, they should respond to their instructors with those questions.

Should student employees report to work as previously scheduled?
Student employees should contact their supervisors for information about returning to work. Residence hall employees will receive an email from their supervisors regarding their return to work.

Are campus services going to be affected by the extension of spring break (campus dining, Randall Library, the Student Recreation Center, etc.)?
The university is still determining the potential impact of this situation on campus services. Each campus service will feature relevant updates on their website. Please check websites before setting out for any campus service location.

What is the latest travel information?
Employees and students can travel to events within NC if there will be fewer than 100 attendees. Employee travel to events expected to include 100 or more attendees is prohibited without the explicit authorization of the chancellor or provost. Students who wish to travel to events within NC that are expected to include 100 or more people should contact their advisors, who will present the request to Student Affairs leadership. 

No employee travel outside NC will be funded, sponsored or supported by the university, unless explicitly authorized by the chancellor or provost. Employees should speak to their supervisors if they believe travel outside NC requires special consideration.

No students will be permitted to travel outside NC for university-related business.

How long will travel restrictions be in place?
These restrictions are in place until further notice. The university will update the campus community if the restrictions are lifted or adjusted.

Can people outside of UNCW come to campus events?
The university will not be hosting any events with 100 or more attendees, unless the chancellor or provost authorizes an exception. Individual event websites will feature updates on potential impacts on their events.

Are employees supposed to begin teleworking?
At this point, employees are expected to report for work as previously scheduled. Teleworking has not been mandated. Supervisors will determine if positions will be considered for teleworking. Employees should direct questions to their supervisors. Our campus remains fully open and operational, and therefore an Emergency Condition is not in place.

What impact will this situation have on summer travel-abroad programs?
We do not yet know the long-term impact of this situation. As soon as more information is available, it will be shared with the university community.

Are athletic events being canceled?
Please visit UNCWSports.com for the latest information on potential impacts on upcoming athletic events.

Where should international students direct questions?
International students can email international@uncw.edu and the Office of International Programs will respond as quickly as possible.


March 11, 2020

4:46 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Moments ago, we were given guidance from the UNC System as to the System-wide response to the coronavirus. We are sharing that information below. University leadership is in the process of finalizing details on these directives and we will share a campus update as quickly as possible, certainly within the next 24 hours. Please know we understand you and your families have many important questions about travel, online instruction beginning on March 23, the timing of students’ return to campus given the extension of spring break through next week, the impact on faculty and staff, and so forth. We ask that you afford us some patience while we gather additional information so we can share a more comprehensive update. We will not be able to answer questions sent in response to this email; as soon as there is more information available, we will share it with campus via an email. We are moving as quickly as possible to get you the information you deserve, and we appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented circumstances. Thank you.

Per the UNC System:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2020

UNC System Issues Update on Coronavirus Preparations

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The UNC System continues to consult with public health officials to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and prepare for the likelihood that the virus will impact our institutions. 

Universities provide environments where large numbers of people interact and congregate. Practicing tried and true methods for maintaining good health, and being vigilant without overreacting, will help individuals remain healthy and help minimize the impact of the virus.

All UNC System institutions will remain open and continue to deliver high-quality instruction for our students. At the same time, we are working to maximize flexibility in how we deliver education in order to limit the potential impact of the coronavirus at our institutions.

  • All UNC System institutions will transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20. Alternative course delivery will begin on March 23 and last indefinitely. Our goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as reasonably possible.
  • University leadership will determine which classes, such as those with labs, will continue to require in-person instruction and attendance.
  • Outside events and gatherings of 100 or more people will be cancelled or postponed unless otherwise authorized by a chancellor or provost.
  • 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 a chancellor or provost.

UNC System institutions are thriving and supportive communities, ready to adapt quickly as circumstances evolve.  We remain focused on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and the delivery of our core academic mission.


March 9, 2020

12:28 PM

Dear Campus Community:

We are writing to you today to offer additional updates on the campus response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 As of today, the university will not be funding, sponsoring or supporting any non-essential university-related employee or student domestic travel. Vice Chancellors, deans and directors have the authority to determine whether proposed travel is essential.

Further, as of today, no travel whatsoever will be funded, sponsored or supported to areas where a state of emergency has been declared by state or local authorities. (This currently includes Washington, California, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Utah and Oregon, but please consult news sources for the latest list.) The university previously announced it will not fund, sponsor or support any employee or student university-related international travel to Threat Level 3 areas (as determined by the CDC). This restriction remains in place.

These travel restrictions apply to conferences, meetings and other in-person events. Employees should consider alternate ways of participating in events they can’t attend in person, e.g. Zoom or Skype, if offered by event organizers. At this time and in accordance with the latest guidelines from health authorities and higher education peers, the university is not requiring the return of faculty, staff or students who have traveled domestically. The university is also not requiring the return of students and faculty currently in countries that have been deemed a Threat Level 2 or below by the CDC. However, this is a fluid situation and guidelines from health authorities will continue to evolve. We will communicate any changes relating to domestic or international travel if additional restrictions become necessary.

Those departments managing searches who have candidates scheduled to travel to campus from areas where a state of emergency has been declared (currently Washington, California, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky, Utah, and Oregon) or Threat Level 3 areas internationally should contact the Office of Human Resources to determine how best to proceed.  Please consult with Jessica Ludwick, Val Heil or Elaine Doell.

There will be a Staff Senate forum focused on the coronavirus situation this Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Lumina Theater. Representatives from the Student Health Center, Human Resources, the Office of International Programs, and other offices will be in attendance to offer insights and answer questions. This will be live-streamed and available via the Staff Senate website. A faculty forum will be held next week, after spring break; additional information will be shared with faculty by Provost Sheerer later today.

Please remember the follow guidance as previously shared:

  • If you are a student or employee and you experience these symptoms during or after international travel, or during or after travel to areas that have declared a state of emergency, it is critical that you notify the Student Health Center immediately (spring-travel@uncw.edu or 910.962-3280). Students who have traveled home or elsewhere for spring break should contact local health care providers. Faculty and staff who are not feeling well should see their health care providers, but should also notify the Student Health Center in the event of these symptoms.
  • UNCW and the New Hanover County Health Department will notify employees and students in the event that a case of the coronavirus is reported at UNCW or in New Hanover County. Please do not share or believe updates you have not personally verified to be accurate.
  • Please continue to consult the Student Health Center website and reliable external resources like the CDC and WHO.  Continue to follow the preventive measures recommended to help prevent any illness.

Finally, Human Resources will be contacting managers this week to offer guidance around how to best support their employees during this time, preparing for possible employee absences, the ability of their units to work remotely, and assessing and updating COOPs.

Thank you for your continued cooperation during these difficult circumstances, and for doing your part to help protect your own health and that of our community.


March 3, 2020

7:18 PM

Dear Campus Community:

Given the identification of a presumptive-positive coronavirus patient in NC earlier today and the increase in campus and public attention on the matter, we wanted to share with you the university-related updates available at this point.

Over the weekend, we suspended our current education-abroad program in Italy. Those students are returning to the U.S. as soon as possible, and will be self-quarantined off-campus for 14 days following their return. Based on the latest information available to us and in consultation with health authorities and higher education peers, we have now canceled all spring break programs in Europe. We have notified the students affected and are working on finalizing program fee and travel refunds as applicable. These are not easy decisions, and we understand the distress they cause for our students and faculty. We are doing the best we can to make the decisions that will protect our community as a whole, but we know that doesn’t lessen the disappointment at all. We regret that very much.

Students who have concerns about spring-semester study abroad programs in locations outside of Europe should contact the Office of International Programs. It is too early for us to make any decisions about summer programs abroad, but we will share any decisions as soon as they are made.

There are still no restrictions in place regarding personal, non-university travel to countries outside of those with Warning Level 3 designations, as determined by the CDC. However, as of today, the university cannot sponsor, support or fund any university-related travel to Warning Level 3 areas. We are sorry for the impact this may have on your studies or your work, but we believe we had to make this decision in order to best serve our community. Details for reimbursement procedures, as applicable, will be shared as soon as possible with those who have already paid for university travel to Warning Level 3 areas.

Those employees or students who choose to travel to a Warning Level 3 area (or an area that is elevated to a Warning Level 3 status during your stay there) will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days after returning to the U.S. We are not able to safely or effectively execute quarantines on our campus, so employees and students will be required to stay off campus for their 14 days of self-quarantine. Please contact the Student Health Center for details on what a self-quarantine involves.

If you experience these symptoms during or after any international travel, please notify the Student Health Center immediately by calling 910.962-3280. As always, students who are not feeling well can make appointments to be seen at the Student Health Center by calling 910.962-3280. Walk-ins will be scheduled for the next available appointments. Faculty and staff who are not feeling well should see their health care providers, but should also notify the Student Health Center in the event of these symptoms.

It’s critical that you continue to practice basic precautions to protect yourself from the (more-common) flu virus -- the same precautions recommended to help you avoid the coronavirus:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

A list of additional preventive actions can be found on the Student Health Center’s dedicated coronavirus website. The site also features reliable sources for the latest coronavirus information and a curation of all campus updates on the situation.

We will continue to do our best to protect, inform and support our students and employees as this situation evolves. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding during these difficult circumstances.

 


February 26, 2020

5:00 PM

Dear Campus Community:

As public awareness of the coronavirus increases, we want to be sure you have an accurate understanding of the facts to help protect yourself and others against this health threat and, more commonly, influenza.

As of February 26, 2020, there are 59 known cases of coronavirus in the United States. No cases of the coronavirus have been reported at UNCW or in North Carolina. However, there have been 90 flu-related deaths in North Carolina since January. The influenza virus (“the flu”) remains far more prevalent in our area and in the U.S. We urge you to learn more about flu prevention and treatment here. The practices that may help you avoid the flu are the same for helping you avoid the coronavirus.

In an abundance of caution, we continue to assess upcoming education-abroad opportunities, and the Office of International Programs will contact students directly if their education-abroad experience will be affected. Aside from those trips, if you are a student or employee and you plan to travel internationally in the coming weeks, or if you have any questions about upcoming travel to areas with known coronavirus outbreaks, please send an email via spring-travel@uncw.edu. Staff from the Student Health Center and/or the Office of International Programs will respond to questions as promptly as possible.

If you are a student or employee and you experience these symptoms during or after international travel, it is critical that you notify the Student Health Center immediately (910.962-3280). As always, students who are not feeling well can make appointments to be seen at the Student Health Center by calling 910.962-3280. Walk-ins will be scheduled for the next available appointments. Faculty and staff who are not feeling well should see their health care providers, but should also notify the Student Health Center in the event of these symptoms.

Another campus email will be sent in the event that a case of the coronavirus is reported at UNCW or in North Carolina, or if another significant update is warranted. You will be able to access coronavirus updates from reliable sources via this new website. The site also contains information on prevention and symptoms of the coronavirus and a link to the latest travel advisories.

Again, we urge you to take precautions that will help you avoid the flu, with the understanding that the flu is a more timely and relevant risk than the coronavirus at this point. Please don’t hesitate to send any questions or concerns to spring-travel@uncw.edu. Thank you for your cooperation in helping protect your health and that of our community.