COVID-19 update from App State — Feb. 26, 2021

Posted 02/26/21 at 8:25 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. 

North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases and related trends are decreasing and stabilizing. On Monday, Feb. 22, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’s update to the COVID-19 County Alert System showed a 55% decrease in counties currently in the “critical community spread” category. Watauga County is in the “significant community spread” category.

Our continued vigilance with following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) and limiting activities and exposure to others to the greatest extent possible is making a real difference. We must remain focused and committed to these simple and effective actions — together, we can continue to be strong and resilient.

Please be sure to carefully and regularly review messages from App State as the university continues to carefully monitor and respond to the latest COVID-19 circumstances

Latest News

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions as North Carolina trends stabilize

On Feb. 24, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order which took effect Friday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. and will expire March 26. The order lifts a number of provisions of the Modified Stay at Home order and eases certain restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Review the FAQ document for details.

  • Modified stay at home restrictions and the 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. curfew are lifted. 

  • The mandatory face coverings requirement remains in effect and personal safety protocols are still strongly encouraged. As a reminder, face coverings continue to be required for students, faculty, staff and visitors when on campus.

  • In-person gatherings or meetings are limited to 25 people or fewer indoors and 50 or fewer outdoors. All participants should be spaced at least 6 feet apart and face coverings should be worn.

  • Teleworking is still encouraged for those employees who are able to do so, and at App State, we continue to maximize teleworking to the extent possible — view the latest information on the Human Resources Employee Resources regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) page

  • Certain indoor and outdoor facilities will have increased capacity limits. At App State, the Division of Student Affairs — including UREC, the Plemmons Student Union and clubs and organizations — as well as App State Athletics and other campus areas, are reviewing how the changes will impact operations, and will communicate changes via their websites. 

COVID-19 vaccines update

This week, North Carolina began vaccinating Group 3, starting with anyone working in child care or in PreK-12 schools. Groups 1 and 2 continue to be vaccinated and have priority.

Updated COVID-19 leave guidance

Updated guidance has been provided from the UNC System extending several current COVID-19 leave programs through June 30 and adding new provisions related to COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • Employees may use paid work time to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during their regular work hours, with approval of their supervisors.

  • COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave may be applied if an employee experiences a reaction to their COVID-19 vaccine that prevents them from returning to work either on the day of the vaccine or the following day. This provision may be applied retroactively.

  • Read more on HR’s Employee Resources regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) page under “Leave Information.”

Student Engagement and Activities

Stay engaged, stay safe!

App State offers events and activities to help students stay engaged while staying safe. Four highlights:

NEW at University Recreation (UREC)
UREC continues to offer in-person and virtual programming for students, faculty and staff — download the UREC app for scheduling, real-time updates and communication.

  • March intramurals include dodgeball, flag football, human foosball, disc golf and more. Registration required.

  • Bike App is open — drop by for free bicycle tunings, repairs and more.

  • Kayak Roll Clinics are held on Wednesdays from 8 - 9:30 p.m. in the pool. Registration required. 

Black History Month Concert III
Feb. 28, 4 p.m., free virtual event
Featuring musical works by composers H. Leslie Adams, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Florence Price and Evan Williams.

Novelist Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
March 4, noon, free virtual event
The craft talk explores methods for infusing physical sensation into writing through practice, observation and structure.

Virtual Paint Night
March 4, 6:30 p.m., free virtual event, registration required 
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts hosts recurring virtual paint night events for App State students. Materials provided with registration.

More Events and Activities:

AppalachianTodayEngageCampus Activities

Key Reminders

COVID-19 positive cases update

  • The Feb. 19 update to campus shared that while App State’s positivity rate remains significantly lower than North Carolina’s rate, the university has seen new cases of COVID-19 in some of our residence halls. Monday's dashboard update included new cluster data for the spring semester, as well as last week’s testing data.

  • Currently, 37% of App State’s quarantine availability is in use. As a reminder, quarantine is implemented with cases of potential exposure that are identified via contact tracing — these individuals may never test positive for COVID-19 but are asked to quarantine to prevent potential spread of COVID-19. Learn more about contact tracing and campus isolation and quarantine procedures.

On-campus COVID-19 testing 

  • Free COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff continues each Wednesday and Saturday from noon - 5 p.m. Walk up or drive up. No appointments required — bring your Banner ID and AppCard. Check the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for the latest schedule and location information, as winter weather can affect testing schedules. Note that lines tend to be shorter between 3 - 5 p.m.

For students: about pandemic pods

Ways to give back

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 45,513
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine/meal support availability: 63% available (37% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Jan. 1 - present): 6
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 22
Active cases in students who live off campus: 26
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 404
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 352

Resources and Communications

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:

 Academic AffairsOffice of the Dean of StudentsMountaineer Food Hub & Free StoreResources 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 StateApp State’s coronavirus website and dashboard

Information Coming Soon

  • Additional information about COVID-19 vaccines.