University of North Carolina Cancels In-Person Classes After COVID Outbreak

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the largest schools in the U.S., is canceling all in-person classes after an outbreak of COVID-19.  The sudden change to remote learning comes a week after classes began for the fall semester. The school had instituted remote learning for most classes in March during the initial spread of the coronavirus. On Monday, school officials said that 177 students had tested positive for the coronavirus and another 350 were in quarantine in dorms and off-campus housing because of possible exposure. “We understand the concern and frustrations these changes will raise with many students and parents,” UNC-Chapel Hill’s chancellor, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, and provost, Robert A. Blouin, wrote in a statement. “As much as we believe we have worked diligently to help create a healthy and safe campus living and learning environment, we believe the current data presents an untenable situation.” About 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend UNC-Chapel Hill. School officials said many students wear masks on campus and are practicing social distancing.  They blamed the outbreak on less conscientious students packing bars and off-campus parties. At least two other universities – Oklahoma State and Notre Dame – have reported COVID-19 outbreaks, and officials at several other schools said they fear they could be next. FILE – A Notre Dame monogram flag waves in front of the Word of Life mural on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, Sept. 28, 2019.Oklahoma State officials quarantined students at a sorority house after 23 cases were confirmed. OSU officials said they learned of the COVID-19 cases at the Tourists wearing protective face masks line up to visit the Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum in Saint Tropez as France reinforces mask-wearing as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus disease, Saint Tropez, Aug. 17, 2020.Libyan health officials say they fear the virus is slipping out of their control, and a huge jump in new cases is further taxing a medical system already strained from civil war. The daily number of coronavirus cases in Libya has jumped from several hundred early in the outbreak. The nation has close to 8,200 confirmed cases and 153 deaths. Medical officials say too many Libyans are not social distancing and are holding large weddings and funerals. “They need to know that the virus is real, the casualties are real, the deaths are real,” said Ahmed al-Hasi, spokesman for the state medical committee responsible for countering the virus in eastern Libya. But some Libyans say the country’s war-torn economy has elevated the masks needed to help contain the virus to luxury items.  “I prefer to buy bread for my children,” said a Tripoli cab driver.  

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