UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members are circulating a petition urging the university’s leadership to temporarily move classes online in light of rising COVID cases. 

The petition had collected the signatures of 320 faculty and staff across more than 50 different schools and departments as of early Monday afternoon. 

Twelve signatures have come from faculty in departments for public health and public policy. 

“As we learned from the past two semesters, online teaching, although not always optimal, can work well,” according to a letter circulated with the petition. “Clearly, we can move to remote classes for the next 4-6 weeks until the more transmissible Delta variant surge is brought under control.”

The letter calls the university’s plan for the start of the fall semester, which includes having regular classroom sizes without a vaccine mandate, a “formula for disaster.” Instead, the first four to six weeks could be used to get more students vaccinated, the letter argues.  

So far in August, the university has reported 115 positive cases of COVID-19, including among 31 employees, according to the school’s COVID tracker

Read the full letter below.

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