COVID-19 update from App State — May 1, 2021

Posted 05/01/21 at 10:10 a.m.

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

App Strong. App Resilient.

Final exams began yesterday and continue through May 6. On May 7, the university will celebrate graduates at the first three of our 13 in-person Spring Commencement ceremonies. Please remember to carefully and regularly review messages from App State as the university continues to monitor and respond to the latest COVID-19 circumstances.

App State continues to prepare for the full return of students, faculty and staff to campus for the fall 2021 semester. To continue to protect others, as well as ourselves, get a COVID-19 vaccine, keep following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) and avoid crowds.

Latest News

Support for students, faculty and staff

  • In her April 30 message to campus, Chancellor Sheri Everts shared that the university community is mourning the loss of two Watauga County Sheriff’s deputies and two App State alumni who were killed in a tragic incident on April 28. She shared that there was no danger to campus at any time during the incident, and that the university has been supporting local law enforcement. Counseling resources for students, as well as for faculty and staff, are available for those who have been affected.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services for students (the Counseling Center) has resources available for students affected by the recent deaths of deputies and community members. Please contact the Counseling Center at 828-262-3180 to schedule a time to talk.

  • Students can also utilize the Let’s Talk service to speak with a counselor on a first-come, first-serve basis — drop in on Tuesday, May 4 from 1 - 3 p.m. and Wednesday, May 5 from 2 - 4 p.m.

  • Confidential counseling is available for faculty and staff free of charge.

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

On April 28, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order in effect from 5 p.m. Friday, April 29, through June 1. The order relaxes the state’s outdoor face covering mandate and eases restrictions on gatherings. Review the FAQ document for details.

COVID-19 Vaccines Update

North Carolina is vaccinating all adults, aged 16+, and vaccine appointments are free and widely available — visit NCDHHS’ COVID-19 Vaccine Information page to find a local provider and for other information about vaccines. NCDHHS also encourages individuals to talk with your doctor if you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • As of April 30, the state has administered over 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and 39.2% of the state’s population, aged 18+, has been fully vaccinated. Review NCDHHS’ COVID-19 dashboard for more information.

  • This week, App State administered 128 Moderna vaccines at a clinic for students, faculty, staff and community members. The university’s COVID-19 Dashboard is updated with weekly vaccine numbers each Monday.

  • Remember that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses for full vaccination — getting your second dose is critical for achieving maximum vaccine effectiveness. If you need assistance scheduling your second dose:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance for when you’ve been fully vaccinated to include benefits of being vaccinated.

    • You can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a face covering or distancing. View the CDC’s Choosing Safer Activities page for details.

    • Additionally, if you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you do not have to isolate/quarantine if you are not exhibiting symptoms.

  • App State strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated but cannot unilaterally mandate vaccines for students or employees — view additional details.

Additional COVID-19 Vaccines Resources: 
App State's COVID-19 Vaccines pageVaccines for COVID-19 (CDC)COVID-19 Vaccine Information (NCDHHS)

North Carolina expands eligibility for food assistance benefits to college students during pandemic to purchase food and stay in school

In an April 29 press release, NCDHHS announced that it is expanding eligibility for food assistance benefits to eligible college students.

  • To be eligible, students must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have documentation of an estimated family contribution of $0 on their federal student aid determination or eligibility for work study.

  • Determine your eligibility and apply here or contact your local Department of Social Services with questions or for assistance.

Student Activities and Resources

Upcoming activities

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

APPS Front Desk Concerts
Free pre-recorded virtual events 
Revisit all of the spring 2021 APPS Front Desk concerts — featuring local and regional acts — on APPS YouTube page

Black Student Association presents: Black Art Gallery Walk
Through May 5 at the Plemmons Student Union (PSU)
Explore the rich history of the Black Arts Movement which occurred alongside the Black Power Movement via a gallery walk on the second floor of the PSU — begins in front of the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs (PSU 255) and ends at the Black Student Association office (PSU 137).

University Recreation adjusted facility hours 
May 3 - 23
Beginning Monday, May 3, UREC will operate with adjusted facility hours. Summer hours begin Monday, May 24. Visit the Facility Hours page for details. 

More Events and Activities:
AppalachianTodayEngageCampus ActivitiesUniversity RecreationTurchin Center

Resources for students

With the end of the semester at hand, please reach out if you or someone you know needs assistance. There are many people at the university who are here to help you. If you aren’t sure who to ask, 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

Additional Details about Commencement, Exams and the End of the Semester — Information for Students

Preparing for Spring Commencement — ticketing information for in-person participants

  • Students participating in in-person commencement ceremonies can pick up their guest tickets May 3 - 5 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Roess Dining Hall. These students have received details and instructions via email.

  • Additionally, these students will receive an email soon with instructions on how to pick up their guest tickets the day of their ceremony if applicable, as well as other ceremony information.

  • Visit the university’s commencement website for additional information about guest tickets, as well as other Spring 2021 Commencement details.

Final exams and the end of the semester

  • Final exams continue through Thursday, May 6view the exam schedule here. Additionally, review the final exam resources shared last week to help you finish the semester strong.

  • Belk Library and Information Commons has announced extended hours during exams see hours of operation.

  • Looking for group study space? Both Plemmons Student Union and Legends will be open during exams for study space — group study spaces will be available and marked with signage. Additionally, some academic buildings will have classrooms available as group study spaces. Please visit area websites or check with academic departments for more information.
  • Review the end of semester actions shared last week for reminders of steps to take before the semester ends — these include returning your rental textbooks and using meal plan balances.

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 56,862
Total vaccines provided at on-campus vaccine clinics: 4,280
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine/meal support availability: 99% available (1% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Jan. 1 - present): 13
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 4
Active cases in students who live off campus: 5
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 468
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 416

Key Reminders and Updates

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts to reopen May 13

Beginning May 13, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) will open to the public Thursdays through Saturdays from noon - 4 p.m., by appointment — registration is required and reservations can be made using this visitor registration form. Personal safety protocols, including physical distancing and mandatory face coverings, remain in effect.

  • Additionally, free virtual programming will continue to be offered — visit the TCVA website or call 828-262-3017 for more information.

Spring 2021 on-campus COVID-19 testing available through May 8 

Free, on-campus COVID-19 testing is available for students, faculty and staff at testing events on May 1, 5 and 8. No appointments required — bring your Banner ID and AppCard. Check the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for the latest schedule and location information. Testing for students is also available weekdays at Student Health Service

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. Planning for a full return to campus is underway, with more information coming soon. 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

  • Details about financial assistance to students who need to take summer classes.

  • Information about planning efforts for a full return to campus in fall 2021.

  • Information for employees working remotely about returning to on-campus work in advance of fall 2021.