COVID-19 update from App State — March 5, 2021

Posted 03/05/21 at 9:00 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 continue to decrease and stabilize, and 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. 

On Thursday, March 4, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ update to the COVID-19 County Alert System showed a 78% decrease in counties currently in the “critical community spread” category. Counties categorized as having “substantial community spread” and “significant community spread” have also decreased. Watauga County remains in the “significant community spread” category.

Even as the latest COVID-19 news is encouraging, continue to be strong and resilient, and remain focused and committed to these simple and effective actions to protect yourself and others.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccines Update

COVID-19 vaccines guidance 

You have a spot to take your shot! A tested, safe and effective vaccine will be available to all who want it, and NCDHHS strongly recommends getting vaccinated at your first available opportunity.

North Carolina COVID-19 vaccines timeline 

North Carolina is currently vaccinating Groups 1, 2 and 3.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics at App State and local providers

In a March 2 message to campus, Chancellor Everts shared that the university will receive its first shipment of vaccines next week.

  • The university will hold vaccine clinics on Thursday, March 11, and Friday, March 12, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Holmes Convocation Center — both clinics are by appointment only. 

  • App State will follow the state’s prioritization system — you will receive an email from the university when it is time for you to schedule your vaccine appointment.

  • If you are eligible to receive a vaccine and have not been contacted by App State to schedule an appointment at one of the on-campus vaccine clinics, COVID-19 vaccine appointments may also be available through these local providers and distribution centers:

    Please contact these providers and distribution centers directly with questions about their locations and how to schedule appointments.

  • To learn more and view vaccine-related resources, visit the university's COVID-19 Vaccines page.

Student Engagement and Activities

Stay engaged, stay safe!

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

App State Athletics events
A limited number of spectators are welcomed at spring sporting events — women’s tennis, field hockey, women’s soccer, softball and baseball. Capacity restrictions vary by venue. Six feet of social distancing between seating pods is required, and face coverings are required.

NEW at University Recreation (UREC)
Beginning March 8, UREC will offer extended hours and increased capacity limits for some indoor offerings — reservations are required and face coverings must be worn at all times. 

Volunteer with the Community Fellows at the Hunger and Health Coalition
March 9, 10 a.m., in-person volunteer opportunity, registration, Daily Health Check passports and face coverings required
The Community Fellows Program includes local volunteer trips to nonprofit organizations serving Watauga and surrounding counties — Hunger and Health Coalition volunteers will unpack and arrange food donations and/or assist with cleaning in the pharmacy. Volunteers must provide their own transportation.

Spring Break on Sanford Mall
March 10, 2 - 4 p.m., free in-person event
Take a break and relax on Sanford Mall. Socially distanced fun, including free food, minigolf, a photo booth and more!  

The Schaefer Center Presents: Steep Canyon Rangers
March 11, 8 p.m., free virtual event, registration required
Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, North Carolina’s GRAMMY winners and perennial Billboard chart-toppers. Streamed live from the Schaefer Center stage. 

More Events and Activities:
AppalachianTodayEngageCampus ActivitiesTurchin Center

Key Reminders

Spring Commencement update

  • Chancellor Everts’ March 5 message to campus shared that App State is currently planning for Spring Commencement ceremonies which will include in-person and virtual components — the Commencement website will be updated with additional details soon. 

Student wellness and flexibility

  • In a March 1 message to faculty and staff, Dr. Mark Ginn, vice provost for undergraduate education, offered guidance about Wellness Days for students, as well as recommendations about COVID-19-related absences, suggestions to build community, and reminders of resources available to students, faculty and staff.   

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.

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 47,415
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine/meal support availability: 67% available (33% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Jan. 1 - present): 7
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 38
Active cases in students who live off campus: 0
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 411
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 359

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:

 Office of the Dean of StudentsMountaineer Emergency FundMountaineer 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.

  • Additional information about Spring Commencement.