COVID-19 update from App State — March 26, 2021

Posted 03/26/21 at 8:40 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. 

The March 18 update to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) COVID-19 County Alert System shows a continued decrease in counties that are 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.

As restrictions ease, continue to protect yourself and others by getting a COVID-19 vaccine, following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) and avoiding crowds until enough people can be vaccinated.

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

North Carolina accelerates its COVID-19 vaccines timeline 

North Carolina is currently vaccinating Groups 1, 2, 3, and phase one of Group 4

COVID-19 vaccine clinics at App State

App State held its second vaccine clinic this week for faculty, staff, students and community members, and administered all 293 vaccines we were allotted. The university’s COVID-19 Dashboard is updated with weekly vaccine numbers each Monday. 

The university expects a larger shipment of vaccines next week, and additional clinics are scheduled for March 31 and April 1 from 9 a.m - 4 p.m. All eligible students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to register and choose an available appointment time.

  • You have a spot to take your shot! App State is following the state’s prioritization system — the university will hold future clinics for students, faculty, staff and community members as vaccine allotments are provided.

  • Visit the university's COVID-19 Vaccines page to register for an upcoming App State vaccine clinic and to view additional local vaccine providers and distribution centers and other COVID-19 vaccine-related resources. 

North Carolina’s COVID-19 Vaccine Management System and vaccination cards guidance

North Carolina is using a secure, web-based COVID-19 Vaccine Management System to register vaccine recipients and protect their privacy.

  • After vaccination, you will receive a vaccination card. Keep this card in a secure location. To help prevent identity theft, do not share images of it on social media. If you lose your vaccination card, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that you contact the facility that administered the vaccine or your local or state immunization information program.

Student Resources and Activities

Resources for students

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:

Additional Resources for Students: 
Academic AffairsOffice of the Dean of StudentsMountaineer Emergency FundMountaineer Food Hub & Free StoreStudent lifeDepartment directory

Stay engaged, stay safe!

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

AppKIDS Superhero Virtual 5K
March 27 - April 10, virtual race with participation fee, registration required
The annual AppKIDS Superhero Run, Walk, or Fly 5K event supports K-12 children in Watauga County who need winter clothing, shoes, food and hygiene resources.

Earth Month 
March 27 - April 22, free in-person and virtual events, registration required for virtual events
Celebrate Earth Month at App State — visit the Office of Sustainability’s Facebook page for all events and follow the Sustainability Ambassadors on Instagram (@appsustainambassadors) for weekly themed days.

Virtual Paint Night
April 1, 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 ActivitiesUniversity Recreation

Latest News and Key Reminders

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions as North Carolina trends continue to stabilize

On March 23, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order in effect from 5 p.m. Friday, March 26 through April 30. The order eases certain restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Review the FAQ document for details.

On-campus COVID-19 testing continues and serves as a method for monitoring/addressing COVID-19 spread

  • At App State, 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. Note: Wednesdays are the busiest testing days; for shorter wait times, choose a Saturday test date and/or come between 3-5 p.m.

  • Additionally, throughout the semester, 10% of the on-campus student population are selected at random for periodic testing. Testing frequency is based on available data, including voluntary surveillance testing events, contact tracing information and wastewater surveillance research.

  • NCDHHS has published updated Interim Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education which encourages continued surveillance testing programs and screenings for campuses.

  • As a reminder, according to the CDC’s guidance for when you’ve been fully vaccinated, fully vaccinated individuals should still get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms after a known exposure.

For students: WE COACH can help you finish your semester strong

  • WE COACH — Wellness Educators Creating Opportunities And Casting Hope  — can help with strategies for Zoom fatigue, adding variety to your life, asynchronous classes, staying active, eating healthy, managing stress, getting enough sleep and more. Visit the WE COACH page to learn more and make an appointment to discuss your wellness-related goals and to create an action plan to keep you on track!  

Last day to drop a spring 2021 class is April 21

  • The last day to drop a spring 2021 class is Wednesday, April 21, at 11:59 p.m. — review the Jan. 27 message to campus from Dr. Mark Ginn, vice provost for undergraduate education, for additional information. 

Spring Commencement reminder

  • Spring 2021 Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for May 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 — the university’s commencement website has been updated with this information and other details.

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 52,416
Total vaccines provided at on-campus vaccine clinics: 973
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine/meal support availability: 85% available (15% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Jan. 1 - present): 12
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 12
Active cases in students who live off campus: 13
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 432
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 380

Communications and Updates

Continued COVID-19 response efforts

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 regularly with local public health consult with the NCDHHS COVID-19 response team as needed. Read more:

Messages from Chancellor EvertsPrevious COVID-19 update from App StateApp State’s coronavirus website and dashboardResources for faculty and staffDepartment directory

Information Coming Soon

  • Additional information about COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Information about reopening of certain campus facilities.

  • Information for employees working remotely about returning to on-campus work.