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WNC colleges update guidelines as Omicron spreads

Local colleges are set to resume classes this coming Monday, January 10. With the omicron variant spreading across Western North Carolina, campuses are taking extra precautions.

Masks will be required indoors at all four schools. Here are a few of the precautions each campus is taking: 

UNC-Asheville

  • Virtual for first week of classes
  • COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot encouraged
  • Testing available everyday during the semester to students and staff
  • Restricted capacity at sporting events, proof of vaccination required

Western Carolina University

  • In-person classes
  • Students and staff must report their vaccination status
  • Proof of vaccination or negative test required before returning to residence halls
  • Vaccines and boosters available through campus health

Brevard College

  • Virtual for first week of classes
  • Weekly testing available during the semester to students and staff
  • Students must have a negative test before returning to campus

Warren Wilson

  • Virtual for first two weeks of classes
  • Vaccines and boosters required 
  • Students must have a recent negative PCR test
  • All college-related travel including sports and community engagement currently suspended

UNC-Asheville and Brevard College will return to the classroom on January 18. Warren Wilson will be remote through January 24. Western Carolina University will have students return to the classroom on the first day. 
When in-person classes start up at Warren Wilson, students will need to be vaccinated and boosted, and provide a negative test result. Brevard College is also requiring a negative test before returning to campus and is offering weekly testing throughout the semester. 

Sarah Broberg is the special assistant to the chancellor for communication and marketing at UNCA. She says K-N95 masks are available across their campus. 

“So our students and employees have ease of access, they can also make a special request to our campus operations for an individual supply of K-N95 masks if they choose to do so,” Broberg said.

Both UNCA and Western say they are in contact with UNC system leaders and will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. 

Born and raised in Asheville, Megan worked as a reporter and a producer across the globe in Israel, London and Australia. Her reporting earned multiple awards, including the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Award.