Campus Health and Safety

The information on this page is updated as new information is available, and as federal, state and local public health guidance changes. For the latest information, please check back regularly. Last updated: August 18, 2022.

All campus facilities and buildings have returned to pre-pandemic access and campus operations have transitioned back to pre-pandemic levels.

Students and employees on campus are expected to practice personal safety protocols; and, in certain work situations, employees may be required to do so.

Community standards

Follow these steps and encourage others to follow them to keep our community healthy and safe:

  1. Get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster.
  2. If you feel sick, stay home.
  3. Wear a face covering where required by federal and state guidelines and at your discretion.
  4. Practice good personal hygiene.
  5. Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
  6. Know your wellness resources and reach out if you need assistance. 

If you feel sick

  • Stay home, monitor your symptoms and get a COVID-19 test.
  • Students should communicate with their faculty to arrange for short-term remote options.
  • Employees should communicate with their supervisors or department chairs to arrange for short-term remote options.
  • If you become concerned about your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Visit the university’s Isolation and Exposure page for actions and precautions to take if you test positive for COVID-19 or were exposed. 

Read more: CDC’s What to Do If You Are Sick guidance

Current COVID-19-related leave options, disability accommodations and remote work considerations

  • Employees should review the Office of Human Resources’ COVID-19 webpage for the most recent guidance.
  • Employees with general questions or concerns, should speak first with their supervisor, and if needed, Human Resources.

Disability accommodations

Read more: CDC’s People with Certain Medical Conditions guidance

Remote work considerations

  • Decisions regarding flexible work schedules, including teleworking arrangements, are case-by-case management decisions, based on a number of considerations such as operational needs, job duties, work performance, IT security, etc., as they were prior to the pandemic.
  • Review Office of Human Resources Flexible Work Arrangements page for more information.

Face coverings

As of March 7, 2022, face coverings are not required on campus except where required by federal and state guidelines. This may include some health care settings.

Wear a face covering at your discretion and/or:

To the extent county or municipal requirements are still in effect pursuant to local emergency declarations, these local requirements must be followed. Keep a face covering with you, so you will have one readily available as needed and ensure it provides the best fit, protection and comfort for you.

Free, reusable face coverings available to students, faculty and staff while supplies last

The university has face coverings that will remain available to students and employees while supplies last. Students and employees may pick-up available face coverings at the Plemmons Student Union information desk.

KN95 Respirators


Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. KN95’s are a type of respirator designed to meet an international standard and are not considered a substitute for a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator used in the Respiratory Protection Program. They can, however, offer more protection than a cloth face covering when used correctly. Keep in mind: if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the wearer. If you choose to wear a KN95, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard. You should do the following

  1. Read and heed all instructions provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance, cleaning and care, and warnings regarding the respirators limitations.
  2. Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a KN95 will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.
  3. Keep track of your KN95 so that you do not mistakenly use someone else's.

KN95 vs. N95: How do I tell the difference?

  • KN95’s should be labeled “KN95” and have two ear loops.
  • N95’s should be labeled “N95” and have two head straps.

How do I know if my K95 fits well?

While a user seal check is not a substitute for qualitative or quantitative fit-testing, data suggests that it can be helpful in achieving a better quality fit. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Put on the KN95 according to manufacturer instructions (positioned so it touches your face along the entire circumference, pinched nosepiece to fit the curve of your nose, etc.).
  2. Be sure you can’t feel any air escaping around the edges.
  3. Positive Pressure Check: Place your hands over the KN95, covering as much surface area as possible. Exhale gently. You should feel a slight build-up of pressure for a successful positive pressure check.
  4. Negative Pressure Check: Place your hands over the KN95, covering as much surface area as possible. Inhale. You should feel a slight decrease in pressure for a successful negative pressure check.
  5. Re-adjust until both the positive and negative pressure checks are successful.

Voluntary Respirator Use


Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged, even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposures to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If your employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, or if you provide your own respirator, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard. You should do the following:

  1. Read and heed all instructions provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance, cleaning and care, and warnings regarding the respirators limitations.
  2. Choose respirators certified by NIOSH for use to protect against the contaminant of concern. A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or respirator packaging. It will tell you what the respirator is designed for and how much it will protect you.
  3. Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a respirator designed to filter dust particles will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.
  4. Keep track of your respirator so that you do not mistakenly use someone else's.

How do I know if my respirator fits well?

While a user seal check is not a substitute for qualitative or quantitative fit-testing, data suggests that it can be helpful in achieving a better quality fit. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Put on the respirator according to the manufacturer instructions (position straps correctly, pinch the nosepiece to fit the curve of your nose, etc.).
  2. Be sure you can’t feel any air escaping around the edges of the mask.
  3. Positive Pressure Check: Place your hands over the facepiece, covering as much surface area as possible. Exhale gently. You should feel a slight build-up of pressure for a successful positive pressure check.
  4. Negative Pressure Check: Place your hands over the facepiece, covering as much surface area as possible. Inhale. You should feel a slight decrease in pressure for a successful negative pressure check.
  5. Re-adjust the facepiece

Additional information about health and safety on campus

Personal hygiene

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow — not with your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 

Read more: CDC’s When and How to Wash Your Hands guidance

Cleaning and disinfection

App State continues to follow enhanced protocols for cleaning and sanitizing of common spaces. Hand sanitizing stations may be found at the primary entry points to each campus building. Disposable face coverings and PPE are available to departments by request — requests for PPE should be submitted by department administrators though VEOCI.

Faculty and staff should use available supplies to clean and disinfect the following:

  • Their work space (as defined by the supervisor) at the start and end of each workday or shift.
  • If applicable, their university work vehicle at the start and end of each shift (or before and after each use if the vehicle is shared).
  • Any tools or equipment, including computer keyboards/mouses, at the start and end of each shift (or after each use if the items are shared).

Mental and emotional well-being

App State provides wellness resources for students and employees. 

In addition, students and employees are invited to become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA)! The MHFA program gives individuals the tools and skills to help people experiencing mental health challenges. 

CDC also provides guidance for coping during COVID-19, which includes:

  • Take breaks from social media and from watching, reading or listening to news stories if you are feeling overwhelmed or distressed.
  • Do what you can to eat healthy foods, exercise, get adequate sleep and find time to unwind.
  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Review CDC’s Stress and Coping guidance or contact the National distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Resources for students

A number of resources are available to assist App State students:

Mental health and wellness

Comprehensive support

The Case Management Team in the Office of the Dean of Students provides comprehensive support for students and can help identify on and off campus resources.

Resources for faculty and staff

A number of resources are available to assist App State employees:

Mental health and wellness

Financial

  • Staff and faculty can apply for loans of up to $750 through the Emergency Loan Fund. View full details of this and other employee assistance programs, as well as a link to the online application, on Human Resources’ Employee Relations page.