Move UNC Classes Online to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Move UNC Classes Online to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

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Esther McDonald started this petition to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and

At this point, it is evident that the rapidly spreading coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) will have a significant impact on the health and economy of North Carolina. As a respected institution with the ability to lead the community, it is UNC's civic duty to help slow the spread of the virus by moving classes online and restricting large events. 

The CDC recommends that "Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19." By shifting classes online and postponing large events, UNC can reduce the impact of the virus on the community and the UNC Health Care system.

Though there are no reported cases in the immediate UNC community at this time, given the two confirmed cases in the local counties and the long incubation period of the virus, it is impossible to know the extent of infection at this time. If we allow the spread to go unmitigated, hospitals will become overwhelmed with patients and run out of crucial resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and personnel.  

Now is the ideal time to take action. As evidenced by the steps already in place to restrict travel to affected areas and mandate self-quarantine, the student body returning from Spring Break presents increased likelihood of infected persons on campus and transmission. If UNC shifts classes online at this point, students will be able to study from home and not face the close proximity in dorms, classrooms, dining halls and other crowded areas which will inevitably increase infection rates. 

Although the virus may not be lethal to most students who are young and healthy, some students are medically fragile and this virus may be deadly to them.  Also, many students go home to vulnerable adults, such as parents with chronic disease or elderly grandparents.

Whereas Stanford University and University of Washington have recently instituted these precautionary measures, possibly and unfortunately too late, UNC right now has the opportunity to reduce the advance of a rapid contagion.

We do not write this petition to get out of school work. We expect the administration to work with our teachers to provide us with online lectures and assignments and we, the students, will continue our studies while campus is closed. 

We write this petition to urge you to take preventative actions now to protect students and their families, reduce the strain on the health care system, and set an example for the broader community of North Carolina.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!