COVID-19 update from App State — July 29, 2021

Posted 07/29/21 at 9:58 a.m.

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

Each update reflects the latest CDC, State and local public health guidance as of that date and time stamp. Please note this continues to be a developing situation. Links provided direct to the latest information available. Note that printed information may be out of date, and always defer to communications with the most recent time and date stamp.

Preparing for Fall 2021

In addition to email updates, the university’s Coronavirus and Summer and Fall 2021 Guide to Campus Operations sites are regularly updated with the latest guidance and information for campus. Please continue to refer to these sites frequently.

In her July 16 message to campus, Chancellor Everts noted that fall 2021 classes begin on Aug. 16 — less than one month away — and encouraged all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated to help protect our community, especially children under 12 and immunocompromised individuals who are unable to take the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective tool we have against the virus and variants, and it is allowing for the full return to campus for the fall 2021 semester.

COVID-19 vaccines are key to providing:

  • Students with in-person instruction and a robust on-campus experience.
  • A safe on-campus work environment for employees.

Although the university cannot unilaterally mandate vaccines for employees or students, App State's vaccination clinic is part of North Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan for rural areas.

Please see below for additional COVID-19-related information and campus operations updates.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

All students, faculty and staff should submit their COVID-19 vaccine status 

Fully vaccinated students and employees should submit their vaccination status as soon as possible — students who live in residence halls are required to do so before move-in. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you can volunteer your status as soon as you have received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. This information will be kept confidential and will be used only to inform university-wide safety protocols.

  • Students who live in residence halls: Prior to move-in, you must provide your COVID-19 vaccine status as part of your vaccine records via your MedPortal account.
    • If you are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at the time of move-in, you must provide documentation of negative COVID-19 test results, and you may be required to take additional COVID-19 tests prior to move-in.

    • You will also be subject to regular COVID-19 testing throughout the semester.

    • Students moving in to residence halls for the fall semester will recieve more detailed information about move-in documentation requirements and COVID-19 testing soon.

    • App State will continue wastewater testing in residence halls to help with COVID-19 early detection and rapid response.

  • Students who live off campus: Please submit your vaccine status as part of your vaccine records via your MedPortal account.

  • Faculty and staff: Please attest your vaccine status via this secure COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation form. You will need your Banner ID and the date you received your second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

  • If you have questions about uploading your vaccine status or if you need to update your response, contact Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management (EHS&EM) by emailing

Visit the university’s COVID-19 Vaccine page for additional information, including incentives for submitting your vaccination status, what to do if you’ve lost your vaccination card and more.

All students, faculty and staff should get a COVID-19 vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and beneficial and are the single most effective tool we have against the virus and variants. 

North Carolina has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the emergence of the Delta variant. More than 94% of the cases in North Carolina are now in people who are not vaccinated.

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

  • Students, faculty and staff can book vaccine appointments with Student Health Service by calling 828-262-3100 or can use the NCDHHS Vaccine Finder.

  • If you have questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, consult with your family physician or our Student Health Service physicians.

Updated CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated people

On July 27, the CDC updated its guidance for when you’ve been fully vaccinated due to new evidence about the Delta variant currently circulating in the United States. Updates to the guidance include:

  • Recommendation that fully vaccinated people should wear a face covering in indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. 13 counties in North Carolina are now experiencing substantial or critical community transmission — Watauga County is currently listed in the moderate community transmission category.

  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a face covering regardless of the level of transmission if they or someone in their household are at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19 and/or if someone in their household is not fully vaccinated.

  • Added a recommendation that fully vaccinated people with a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after a known exposure and should wear a face covering in indoor public settings for 14 days or until receipt of a negative test result. 

Vaccine data and statewide updates

Each Monday, the university shares the total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered by App State and Watauga County vaccinations data on the university’s COVID-19 Vaccines page. As of July 26:

  • App State has administered 4,679 vaccines at vaccine clinics and in Student Health Service.

  • In Watauga County, 27,095 people, or 48% are fully vaccinated. View the AppHealthCare dashboard for local COVID-19 data.

  • North Carolina has administered more than 9.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and 46% of the state’s total population has been fully vaccinated. Visit NCDHHS’ COVID-19 vaccines dashboard for more information.

Additional COVID-19 vaccines resources: 
App State's COVID-19 Vaccines pageVaccines for COVID-19 (CDC)North Carolina’s COVID-19 Information HubCOVID-19 Vaccine Information (NCDHHS)COVID-19 dashboard (NCDHHS)

App State COVID-19 Policies and Guidance Updates

If you have questions or concerns about the university’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, please reach out to

A team led by Emergency Management Director Jason Marshburn and Dr. Alex Howard, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Wellness and Prevention Services, meets regularly to review CDC, state and local public health guidance. This team's recommendations are presented to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors each week, at a minimum, as well as after key decisions are announced. Chancellor Everts and the Vice Chancellors meet daily to review the latest guidance and discuss the university's COVID response and recovery efforts.

Face coverings

Executive Order 220 expires July 30 at 5 p.m. At a July 21 press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions imposed under the EO will be lifted, but the COVID-19 State of Emergency will remain in effect. 

The next COVID-19 news conference is scheduled for Thursday, July 29 at 3 p.m (days/times subject to change). App State is following CDC, state and local public health guidance and will provide updates as needed — the university’s Face Coverings page and policy have been updated based on current guidelines.

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a face covering on App State’s campus, EXCEPT:

    • At Student Health Service or other health care settings. 
    • At on-campus child care facilities.
    • At on-campus summer camps serving minors.

Returning to on-campus work

The July 2 update to campus included the latest information about returning to on-campus work. Highlights include:

Additional resources: 
App State's Coronavirus Information pageApp State’s Summer and Fall 2021 Guide to Campus Operations

Campus Operations


  • Classrooms have been returned to standard configurations for fall 2021.

  • Classrooms will continue to be supplied with surface wipes and hand sanitizer for use by students and faculty, and classrooms will continue to be cleaned daily.

  • Disposable face coverings will be made available to departments for distribution as needed.

AppalCART update

Information Coming Soon

Please remember to continue to check your App State email regularly throughout the summer for information about fall 2021, operations updates and other important news and reminders, including:

  • Additional information about returning to pre-pandemic operations for the fall 2021 semester, with safety precautions in place.

  • Information about campus events for fall 2021.

  • Additional information about incentives for getting vaccinated and for volunteering your vaccination status.

  • Additional information for students living in on-campus housing.