Summer and Fall 2021 Guide to Campus Operations

Reporting COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 Data

In May, 2021, COVID-19 cases at App State fell to one active case. AppHealthCare district health department dashboards will continue to reflect the confirmed cases at Appalachian State University. View the AppHealthCare dashboard here

Archive and historical dashboard data for App State, covering dates from June 2020-May 2021, may be viewed here.

Self-reporting of COVID-19 tests and Care and Concern reports

Whether you are an employee or a student, you are required to report the following:

  • If a health care provider tells you that you are presumed positive for the novel coronavirus.
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19.
  • The results, whether positive or negative, of your COVID-19 test.
  • If you have been instructed to quarantine by public health.

You can self-report this information to Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management in either of two ways:

Care and Concern reports

Students, faculty and staff who hear about others who may have COVID-19 can use the Illness/Exposure Concern Report to submit a “Care and Concern” report to ensure the university is aware of their positive test result. In addition, if you have a concern about a student, you can report that concern to the Dean of Students.

When you complete this form, the university will immediately begin working with public health professionals to reach out to the individual and conduct contact tracing and provide needed resources and support as needed. Faculty and staff who may need leave for reasons related to COVID-19 should communicate with their supervisor and/or Human Resources about special COVID-19 leave provisions that are currently in effect.

NOTE: App State will report positive cases of faculty, staff and students that have been verified by public health to campus. No personally identifiable information will be shared with the University community.

All reported information will remain confidential.

What happens when someone tests positive?

In North Carolina, when someone tests positive, their health care provider is required by law to report that to their local health department. They also report positive test cases to the state. This is to ensure health care is being provided to individuals who have tested positive, and the health of the public is being protected by implementing isolation procedures.

When an App State student, faculty or staff member tests positive, the local public health department makes contact with that person and gives public health guidance. AppHealthCare is responsible for public health in Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany Counties.

Additionally, local public health departments are responsible for contact tracing – no matter where someone received a test. This means AppHealthCare will work to:

  • Identify cases of COVID-19
  • Isolate those who have tested positive
  • Identify and quarantine close contacts of those who have tested positive
  • Monitor positive cases and close contacts until released

Students, faculty and staff who are tested on campus are identified as affiliated with App State at the time their test is taken. It is possible for a student, faculty or staff member to be tested by an entity not connected with App State or AppHealthCare and not identify any connection with App State. In that instance,they would still be identified as associated with the university when they complete their Illness/Exposure Concern Report and/or reach out to faculty and/or their supervisor to explain their inability to attend.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is under the purview of public health. The university assists as needed.

  • When a person tests positive for COVID-19, public health will work to determine who may have been exposed and in close contact with the confirmed positive individual. 
  • They will then reach out to those who have been determined to have been in close contact with the confirmed positive individual to provide them with health care guidance. The CDC defines close contacts as "someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated."
  • If you receive a call from public health, it is critically important that you answer and/or return their calls and answer their questions. The purpose of the call is to support those who may have been in close contact with the contagious person and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
  • In response to questions about how contact tracing calls are identified, AppHealthCare has shared that calls from public health may show up as “NC Outreach” or “Contact Tracing” or from 844-628-7223 or 828-264-4995; however, some cell phone carriers may flag the call as spam. If you receive a message, please return the call.

There is no punishment for individuals who disclose their close contacts, and AppHealthCare and university staff will not share personally identifying information.

Who will be notified?

In the event of a positive test, only close contacts of those who have tested positive will be notified by health care providers. This is to protect the privacy of the individuals and prevent the disclosure of protected health information. This procedure is also consistent with CDC and public health guidelines, as well as with the university’s communicable disease notification practice.

AppHealthCare has developed a website dashboard with case counts for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties.

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