Fall 2021: Stay Vigilant. Be Resilient.
As the university continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation, please be sure to carefully and regularly review messages from App State.
This week, students are moving into residence halls — fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 16. App State welcomes new students, faculty and staff and recognizes those who are returning for their continued commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
In her Aug. 13 message to campus, Chancellor Everts shared:
- The university will launch its COVID-19 data dashboard for fall 2021 on Aug. 23, and is working with local public health to determine the metrics that will most effectively inform our campus about the university's COVID suppression efforts.
- The university continues to emphasize the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and will begin placing fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff into a pool to win prizes and scholarships beginning Aug. 16.
Continued vigilance is critical. Key metrics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are showing increasing COVID-19 spread in North Carolina and nationwide. Watauga County is currently an area of "high” transmission.
Summary of important updates:
- Don’t wait to vaccinate. In North Carolina, COVID-19-related hospitalizations hit all-time highs due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
- Students, faculty and staff should upload their vaccine status by Aug. 16. Those who are unvaccinated or who have not affirmed their fully vaccinated status are subject to regular COVID-19 testing throughout the year.
- Face coverings are required in all indoor campus locations and indoor locations within the Town of Boone. Fully vaccinated faculty may pull down their face coverings while actively teaching.
- Students and employees are required to report COVID-19 tests and results, known exposures, and whether they have been instructed to quarantine by public health. The link to report illness, exposure or test results is posted on every page of the university’s coronavirus website.
- The Office of Student Conduct’s COVID FAQ page outlines campus requirements and expectations for students, and guidance information for faculty and staff.
Keep reading for full details on COVID-19-related updates and information, as well as important updates for students, faculty and staff about campus operations for the fall 2021 semester.
App State's Coronavirus site • App State’s Fall 2021 Guide to Campus Operations • North Carolina’s COVID-19 Information Hub
Don’t Wait to Vaccinate!
North Carolina health officials continue to urge vaccination as COVID-19-related hospitalizations hit all-time highs due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Protect yourself and your App State community! Getting vaccinated as quickly as possible is critically important to slow the spread of the virus and is the single, most effective way to protect yourself and others from serious illness or death. The vast majority — around 90% — of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Carolina are people who are not vaccinated.
Upload your vaccine status
All students, faculty and staff should upload their vaccine status by Aug. 16. Those who have not done so will be subject to regular, randomized COVID-19 testing.
Randomized testing for unvaccinated individuals
- Students and employees who are unvaccinated or who have not uploaded their vaccine status by Aug. 16 will be required to participate in randomized COVID-19 testing throughout the year.
- The randomized testing process will involve placing the names of those who have not affirmed their fully vaccinated status into a pool. Names will be pulled at random from the pool for regular COVID-19 testing.
- If you become fully vaccinated after Aug. 16, upload your vaccine status to be removed from the COVID-19 testing pool.
Each Monday, the university’s COVID-19 Vaccines page is updated with COVID-19 vaccines data. As of Aug. 9:
- App State has administered 4,744 vaccines.
- In Watauga County, 27,336 people, or 49% are fully vaccinated.
- North Carolina has administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and 48% of the state’s total population has been fully vaccinated.
- App State’s COVID-19 data dashboard will be relaunched Aug. 23 with fall 2021 data. The university is consulting with local public health to determine the metrics that will most effectively inform our campus about the App State's COVID suppression efforts.
COVID-19 vaccine resources:
App State's COVID-19 Vaccines page • Vaccines for COVID-19 (CDC) • COVID-19 Vaccine Information (NCDHHS)
AppHealthCare dashboard • COVID-19 vaccines dashboard (NCDHHS)
Face Coverings, Required Reporting and Campus Safety Protocols
Face coverings required on campus and in the Town of Boone
In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends everyone wear face coverings in indoor public spaces in areas with “substantial” or “high” rates of transmission. In North Carolina that is now 99 of 100 counties — Watauga County is currently an area of "high” transmission.
- The Aug. 4 update to campus reported that face coverings are required in all indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, with few exceptions.
- Fully vaccinated faculty may pull their face covering down while actively teaching. Unvaccinated faculty should continue to wear a face covering.
- Additionally, face shields and clear face masks are being provided to departments upon request for any faculty member who wishes to use one while actively teaching, regardless of vaccination status.
- An Aug. 12 message to faculty from Dr. Mark Ginn, vice provost for undergraduate education, includes details and additional guidance for faculty.
- Visit the university’s Face Coverings page for additional information, including how to get free, reusable face coverings if you need them.
- On Aug. 6, the Town of Boone voted to reinstate the indoor mask mandate as per the June 18, 2020 order. The order is in effect as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10. Read more about Town of Boone COVID-19 resources and information.
Students and employees are required to report the following via a secure Illness/Exposure Concern Report form:
- COVID-19 tests and results, whether positive or negative. If you get tested and the results are positive, self-isolate, do not come to campus and self-report illness/exposure/test results. The university will conduct contact tracing and follow up with you for symptoms.
- Known COVID-19 exposures, regardless of vaccination status.
- If they have been instructed to quarantine by public health.
Additionally, if you hear about others who may have COVID-19, use the same form to submit a “Care and Concern” report. This information is used for contact tracing and to monitor COVID-19 spread on campus — all reported information will remain confidential.
Campus safety protocols
- Students and employees should monitor themselves daily and stay home if they feel unwell or have possible COVID-19 symptoms.
- Practice good personal hygiene, including regular washing and/or sanitizing of hands. Hand sanitizer stations are stocked in common areas on campus and at elevators.
- Classrooms will be cleaned daily and will be supplied with surface wipes and hand sanitizer for use by students and faculty.
- Disposable face coverings are available to departments for distribution as needed.
- If you have a medical condition that requires accommodations, contact the Office of Disability Resources.
- Certain COVID-19 employee leave options are still available, including paid work time to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during work hours with supervisor approval.
- Signage related to COVID-19 has been updated across campus. No additional COVID-19 signage may be posted or removed without prior approval from the Department of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management — contact email@example.com with questions.
Face Coverings • COVID-19 Vaccines • Reporting COVID-19 Cases • Health and Safety on Campus
Information for Students
- Get involved: The Office of Campus Activities has a slate of Welcome Week, and other activities designed to welcome students back and introduce new students to App State. You should also make plans to attend Club Expo on Sunday, Aug. 15 from 2 - 5 p.m at the Holmes Convocation Center to learn more about App State’s more than 400 student clubs and organizations.
- Get connected: Many campus areas and academic colleges promote student activities via Engage (log-in required), a web-based system where students can log-in to find organizations, view events and professional development opportunities, and read news updates.
- Invite your family to campus: Family Weekend is Sept. 17-19 — visit the Family Weekend site for details.
- The Office of Student Conduct has published a COVID FAQ page for students that outlines campus requirements and expectations, including educational sanctions for noncompliance.
- The Case Management Team in the Office of the Dean of Students provides comprehensive support for students and can help identify on and off campus resources.
- The Student Learning Center offers academic resources for students, including tutoring services, academic coaching and self-help resources.
- App State’s Career Development Center provides resources for students seeking employment, including resume reviews, career coaching, and job and internship search assistance.
- App State’s Resiliency Toolkit offers helpful information, including methods for managing stress, tips for staying active, emotional regulation, ways to resolve conflict and more.
- The Counseling Center offers short-term individual counseling, group counseling, emergency services and more. Begin by visiting its Get Started page or its Self-Help page.
- Wellness and Prevention Services offers virtual events, peer education, addiction recovery, weekly motivation messages and more — view all Wellness and Prevention Services events.
- Mountaineer Safe Walk is a free, safety escort service available during the evening hours for students who may feel uncomfortable walking alone after dark on campus.
Event and activity resources:
AppalachianToday • Engage • Campus Activities • University Recreation • Turchin Center
Additional resources for students:
Academic Affairs • Office of the Dean of Students • Mountaineer Food Hub & Free Store • Wellness resources for students
Building hours and access have returned to pre-pandemic status. Visit area websites for more information.
- Belk Library and Information Commons is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members.
Please remember the global pandemic is dynamic, and continues to be a rapidly developing situation. Continue to check your App State email regularly — the latest information is also posted to App State’s Coronavirus site.
- The university will adjust COVID-19 safety protocols, procedure and policy according to the latest federal, state, local and UNC System guidance.
- Following CDC guidance, App State will use county-based community spread data to determine when requirements can be lessened or lifted. Watauga County’s transmission status is checked at least daily and posted on the university’s homepage, as well as the Coronavirus site.
- If you have questions or concerns about the university’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Information about health and safety at campus events.
- Additional information about awards and prizes for fully vaccinated individuals.
- Fall 2021 COVID-19 data dashboard.
Latest Updates • Face Coverings • COVID-19 Vaccines • Reporting COVID-19 Cases
• COVID-19 Testing