Notice: UNCW Announces Updates to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

North Carolina Executive Order 215, effective Friday, May 14, lifted the COVID-19 social distancing and capacity limits and, with a few exceptions, the face coverings requirement. Based on this Executive Order, face coverings will not be required at UNCW, except in the following situations:

  • Outpatient healthcare facilities on campusthe Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, all Athletic Training Facilities, and the General Psychology & Assessment Clinic 
  • D.C. Virgo and Isaac Bear Early College High School 
  • Youth camps  
  • Any multi-passenger vehicles such as WAVE buses, shuttles, vans and UNCW vehicles. Personal vehicles and open-air vehicles such as golf carts or gators are not included. 
Recommendations for Non-vaccinated Individuals 
Individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination are still encouraged to wear a face covering indoors to protect themselves and others, especially those unable to be vaccinated due to underlying medical conditions or age.  
Please remember that an individual’s vaccine status is confidential health information. Individuals may voluntarily share their vaccine status, but please don’t ask colleagues and/or students about their status. If you are unsure about someone’s status, it is best practice to assume they are not vaccinated and take appropriate action to protect your health, including wearing a face covering. Although UNCW is not requiring face coverings, per above, even vaccinated individuals may elect to continue wearing face coverings. We also encourage hand-washing and social distancing as appropriate, which continue to be best practices for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Hand sanitizer stations installed as part of our COVID-19 protocols will remain in place across campus. As a reminder, please remain home if you feel sick.  
Vaccines Available on Campus 
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract COVID-19 and, if they do become infected, they are less likely to have serious complications. For those individuals who have not yet been vaccinated, the Student Health Center continues to offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccines are available in DePaolo Hall with no appointment needed, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday from 8-11 a.m. You will need to wait 15 minutes after your vaccination. 
Preparing Campus Spaces for Full Occupancy 
In preparation for the fall, university staff will start resetting classrooms and meeting rooms to full capacity later this week. It will take several weeks for desks, chairs and other furniture to be returned to the rooms. These efforts will not change the course modalities or capacity limits for in-person classes scheduled for Summer Session I and Full Summer classes. It is possible that the capacity limits for some in-person, Summer Session II courses may be expanded, pending input from the faculty instructors involved. Summer Session II modalities will not be changed. 
University staff will also begin to remove directional and social distancing signage on campus and in buildings. New signs will be installed in the areas where face coverings are still required. 
Use of Campus Spaces for Events  
The university looks forward to welcoming external guests back to UNCW this summer. Campus spaces are being reset with furniture and, beginning June 1, the EMS online reservation will be available for fall reservations. 
Surveillance Testing 
Students living on campus this summer who are not vaccinated will be required to have weekly surveillance testing. Surveillance testing is available on Tuesdays from 8-11 a.m. in the tent on the Hoggard side of DePaolo Hall; no appointment is necessary. Surveillance testing is open to all faculty, staff and students.  
Testing also is available at several area locations. Please see New Hanover County’s website for additional information. 
Testing for Those with Symptoms, Close Contacts or Clearance for Travel 
Students exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, those who have been in close contact with individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or those needing clearance for travel should call the Student Health Center at 910.962.3280 to make an appointment or contact their medical providers for assistance. Students who test positive at off-campus facilities should notify the university via  
Employees who are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms or have been in close contact with individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider, notify their supervisor and then notify the UNCW Student Health Center at 
We hope the easing of these restrictions will go a long way toward helping the campus community prepare for a more typical fall semester. As always, please remember that COVID-19 guidance is subject to change depending on local, state and federal guidance. Please monitor your campus inboxes, the UNCW homepage and the Best for the Nest site during the summer for updates from the university.