COVID-19 update from App State — Jan. 29, 2021

Posted 01/29/21 at 7:15 p.m.

App State’s weekly progress report to campus provides the latest operational updates and other important information.

App Strong. App Resilient.

The university remains open, with emergency management protocols activated and operational modifications and precautions in place. On Feb. 1, classes transition to face-to-face, hybrid or online. 

App State faculty and staff continue working steadily, in accordance with UNC System expectations and our educational mission, to assess and adjust every aspect of the Appalachian Experience to keep health and safety at the forefront. As the university continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation, you need to carefully and regularly review messages from App State.

Latest News

Continued personal safety protocols 

On Jan. 27, Gov. Roy Cooper announced an extension of North Carolina’s Modified Stay at Home Order to last until at least Feb. 28. As a reminder, the order requires people to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. — Phase 3 also remains in effect, including all reduced capacity limits, sanitation standards and other restrictions. Read the FAQ document here

COVID-19 vaccines update

The Jan. 22 update to campus included links to previously reported information about App State’s role with COVID-19 vaccination distribution. The university’s application to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to be a community-facing COVID-19 vaccination distribution center is pending. Visit the university's COVID-19 Vaccines page for the latest information.

University Housing update

Students with residence hall contracts began returning to campus on Thursday, Jan. 28 — move-in continues through Sunday, Jan. 31. Spring 2021 residence hall occupancy, including exemption requests in process, is 61%.

  • Members of the university’s Wellness and Prevention team are reaching out to each student who will be living in on-campus housing in spring 2021 to remind them about required COVID-19 testing and answer any questions they may have. Read the latest information from University Housing here.

  • The Housing Reapplication for the 2021-22 academic year is open through Feb. 7 for current on-campus students and/or students who received a COVID-19 exemption. View Housing Reapplication details here.

Student Engagement and Activities

Visit this Student Life page, which is regularly updated with ways to stay engaged and have fun while staying safe. Three highlights:

Courageous Conversations
Feb. 4, 2 p.m., free virtual event, registration required.
Virtual Courageous Conversation hosted by the Walker College of Business and the Reich College of Education as part of Black Lives Matter at School Week. 

The Schaefer Center Presents An Evening with Anna Deavere Smith
Feb. 4, 8 p.m., free virtual event, registration required.
Anna Deavere Smith, the award-winning playwright, actor and professor, celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the power of empathy, the strength of imagination, and hope. 

Virtual Paint Night
Feb. 4, 6:30 pm, free recurring virtual event (view all upcoming dates), registration required.
Virtual paint night events for App State students hosted by the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Materials provided with registration.

More Events and Activities:

Appalachian TodayEngageCampus ActivitiesUniversity Recreation

Key Reminders

Stay active, but safe this winter 

It is important to stay active during the winter months, outside or inside; however, it is critical that you continue to stay vigilant and follow the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash).

  • The university has constructed a new wood-burning fire pit on Sanford Mall and purchased two portable propane-fueled fire pits for use in areas around Plemmons Student Union. These will offer opportunities to gather warmly at the campus’s popular outdoor spaces.

  • App State’s Dr. Becki Battista offers seven tips for how to stay motivated with an exercise routine this winter, including this one: “Even 10-minute bouts sprinkled throughout the day can help.”

Spring on-campus COVID-19 testing update

  • As a reminder, App State offers free COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff each Wednesday and Saturday from noon - 5 p.m. Walk up or drive up. No appointments required — bring your Banner ID and AppCard. Winter weather can affect the testing schedule, so check the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for the latest schedule and location information. Note that lines tend to be shorter between 3 - 5 p.m.

  • The Jan. 30 testing event will be held in Peacock Parking Lot. Vehicles should enter via Rivers Street. Staff will direct vehicles/pedestrians upon arrival. 

Weather and safety information 

  • Campus will be notified of any weather-related status changes, such as reduced operations or suspended operations, via email and on the university's homepage and the website. Additionally, the university posts weather-related changes to its social media sites, and sends the information to local weather/information websites, campus and local media. Due to the Coronavirus, much of our campus is already accustomed to remote working and learning, and changes in campus operating conditions due to inclement weather may cause less disruption in the spring term.

  • This semester, classrooms will continue to be cleaned by custodial staff multiple times throughout the day. Each classroom will also continue to be supplied with wipes that can be used to wipe down personal spaces prior to and after each class. Read more on the university’s Health and Safety on Campus page.

  • Face coverings continue to be required for students, faculty and staff when on campus and distribution continues of five new, washable, reusable face coverings — 61,000 to date. These face coverings feature adjustable ear loops and three-ply construction with a middle-layer filter. Email with questions.

    • After Feb. 1, students, faculty and staff who have not yet received new face coverings can pick up theirs in the PSU at the Information Desk, across from Cascades Cafe, during regular business hours. Face coverings will be available all semester from this location. Additionally, the new face coverings are being distributed to students, faculty and staff in a variety of ways — find out more about distribution of face coverings here.

Key Metrics

Total on-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 35,855
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine availability: 93% available (7% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Jan. 1 - present): 0
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 1
Active cases in students who live off campus: 50 (94% of all active cases, approx.)
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 376
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 324

Resources and Communications

New NCDHHS mental health resources

App State resources

Please reach out if you need assistance. There are many people at the university who are here to help you. If you aren’t sure who can help you, here’s where you can start:

Resources for studentsResources for faculty and staffDepartment directory 

Communications and updates

Chancellor Everts continues to meet regularly with UNC System President Hans and System leadership, as well as with her vice chancellors and emergency management team. University representatives meet with local public health Monday-Friday and on weekends as needed, and consult regularly with the NCDHHS COVID-19 response team. Read more:

Messages from Chancellor EvertsPrevious COVID-19 update from App State
App State’s coronavirus website and dashboard

Information Coming Soon

  • Additional information about COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Information about how App State is participating in contact tracing.