UNC fans defy COVID-19 restrictions by storming Franklin Street after win over Duke

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Despite warnings, hundreds of Carolina fans embraced tradition on Saturday night by storming Franklin Street in Chapel Hill amid the COVID-19 pandemic after the Tar Heels' win over Duke.

In footage obtained by the News & Observer, fans could be seen huddling with little-to-no social distancing on Franklin Street, some wearing masks, others not.

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(Courtesy of Ryan Wilcox with the News & Observer)

"I know many Tar Heels enjoy rushing Franklin Street to celebrate a big win, but we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and COVID doesn't take a break for the Duke game," UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said in a statement in response to the crowd.

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While it may have been all fun and games for some, the UNC Chancellor said there will be an investigation in coordination with local authorities to "pursue consequences." ABC11 learned that consequences could include removal or dismissal from the university and disenrollment in in-person classes.

Prior to the win, UNC tweeted a Public Service Announcement on Friday asking Carolina fans to avoid tradition by rushing Franklin Street after a win.

Since the beginning of the year, UNC has reported four COVID-19 clusters at four of its residence halls.

As of Friday, February 5, the UNC coronavirus dashboard reports 610 total COVID-19 cases associated with the university.
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