Absences Related to COVID-19
Effective August 21, 2023
Short-Term Illnesses, including mild to moderate COVID-19: Not Eligible for UAAs
UAAs are not intended for short-term or more moderate health issues such as commonly occurring illnesses (e.g., flu or other illnesses that would require missing no more than one week of class), minor injuries or non-emergency surgeries.
As of May 11, 2023, COVID-19 is no longer classified a public health emergency according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. COVID-19 continues to be a societal challenge that is considered endemic.
Effective August 21, 2023, for purposes of UAAs, COVID-19 will be treated similarly to other respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses.
- Students with positive COVID-19 test results will not automatically qualify for a UAA.
- Students should work directly with their instructors to navigate school-related absences due to COVID-19 and other short-term illnesses with mild-to-moderate symptoms. You do not have to disclose your personal health information.
- If a student feels the instructor is not providing a reasonable alternative regarding class absences, you are encouraged to follow up with the chair of the department or the chair’s designee.
If you develop symptoms of any illnesses that may pose a risk to others, stay in your residence (self-isolate), obtain a COVID-19 test (as appropriate), and consult with your medical provider as needed. Screening, self-isolation, vaccination, wearing a mask, and practicing good hand hygiene are critical steps to help keep our community healthy.
Severe and Long-Term Illnesses Remain Eligible for UAAs
If you experience significant illness, including COVID-19 symptoms that are severe and prolonged (i.e., affecting five or more consecutive weekdays) and are seen anywhere except by Campus Health, you will need documentation from your treating provider indicating symptoms are severe and prolonged before a UAA can be submitted and reviewed by the University Approved Absence Office.
More than one UAA for COVID-19 cannot be given during a 90-day period.
Important Note: Even in the event of a significant health condition, instructors may choose to work independently with students to negotiate their absences. In these cases, students and/or faculty do not need to contact the UAAO.
If you are experiencing significant symptoms of Covid-19, you should contact Campus Health at 919-966-2281 to schedule an appointment or schedule an appointment online for a medical evaluation and a diagnostic test. Rapid tests are also available for purchase at the Healthy Heels Shoppe, Student Stores Pharmacy, and the “Healthy Heels to Go” vending machines.
Covid-19 UAA’s apply only to class absences, not to your employment. Make sure you reach out to your work supervisor to let them know you will be unable to work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I go if I have concerns about COVID-19 or my health?
Seek medical attention at Campus Health or other community clinics.
My COVID-19 test is positive. How do I determine how long my self-isolation period is? If I was exposed to someone with COVID-19, when should I obtain a test if I do not have any symptoms?
To determine self-isolation duration/dates or testing recommendations after exposure to COVID-19, use CDC’s COVID-19 isolation and exposure calculator.
I am a health science student and I tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Follow your clinical site’s guidelines about return-to-work criteria. Your onsite clinical supervisor can be a resource and may be asked to follow the same guidelines as the employees at that clinical site.
I have a job and tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Follow your work site’s occupational health guidelines about return-to-work criteria and reach out to your work supervisor. If you receive a UAA, please note that UAAs apply only to class absences, not to your job or to employment.
I live in a residence hall or apartment with others. Where do I self-isolate?
COVID-19 is endemic. Self-isolation can occur in your current residence (e.g., residence hall or apartment).
How can I stay healthy? How do I keep our community at UNC-Chapel Hill healthy?
Perform good hand hygiene, stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including COVID-19 and the flu, and wear a mask.