COVID-19 update from App State — August 20, 2021

Posted 08/20/21 at 6:20 p.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 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 Note that printed information may be out of date, and always defer to communications with the most recent time and date stamp.

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, fall 2021 classes began. In her Aug. 20 message to campus, Chancellor Everts shared that while “it’s been a busy and exciting week at App State… vigilance is critical.” This is a time for continued caution due to current COVID-19 data and trends.

At an Aug. 18 North Carolina emergency briefing, Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), indicated that unvaccinated individuals have a 400% higher chance of contracting COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals, and encouraged North Carolinians to protect themselves, their family members and their community by layering their protections against COVID-19:

Vaccinations continue to be our best defense against COVID-19 — especially the highly contagious Delta variant — and free COVID-19 vaccines are widely available to anyone 12 and older. Protect yourself and your loved ones — don’t wait to vaccinate!

Summary of important updates:

  • App State’s Student Health Service (SHS) provides vaccines for students, employees and community members, as well as booster shots for eligible immunocompromised individuals. SHS has doses of all approved vaccines.

  • Fully vaccinated students and employees are eligible to win prizes and scholarships. Prize drawings began today, Aug. 20, and will continue weekly. Winners will be notified via email.

  • Students and employees who are unvaccinated or who have not uploaded their vaccine status are required to participate in regular, randomized COVID-19 testing, must quarantine for at least 14 days after a known exposure, and must submit COVID-19 test results before and after university-sponsored travel. Visit the university’s Reporting COVID-19 Cases page for more information, including what happens when someone tests positive.

  • In addition to face coverings being required in all indoor locations on campus, face coverings are also required in shared university vans and motor pool vehicles, regardless of vaccination status.

  • The Office of University Events has updated its Campus Event Guidelines to help ensure health and safety at campus events.

  • Campus Dining is hiring students — competitive pay and employment perks.

Keep reading for full details on COVID-19-related updates and information.

App State's Coronavirus siteApp State’s Fall 2021 Guide to Campus OperationsNorth Carolina’s COVID-19 Information Hub

Don’t Wait to Vaccinate!

The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective — and widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. More than 165 million Americans have been safely vaccinated. 

Get vaccinated

Vaccines are the best protection from COVID-19-related severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as complications from the virus. 

Get your COVID-19 vaccination record

If you lose your vaccination card or need a digital copy:

Upload your vaccine status

Students, faculty and staff are required to upload their vaccine status. If you have not yet done so, upload your status now to be included in drawings for prizes and become exempt from randomized testing and other requirements.

Fully vaccinated students and employees who have uploaded their vaccine status are eligible to win prizes. Visit the university’s Vaccine Incentives page for a full list of prizes and more information. 

Unvaccinated students and employees are subject to regular COVID-19 testing and other App State requirements

Students and employees who are unvaccinated or who have not yet uploaded their vaccine status:

  • Are required to participate in regular, randomized COVID-19 testing — this testing began this week and will expand the week of Aug. 23. If you have not yet uploaded your vaccine status, you may do so at any time to be removed from the required testing groups.
    • Students and employees selected for testing will be contacted via email with specific instructions.

  • Are required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days after a known exposure. This time could be extended if COVID-19 symptoms develop.

    • Students living in residence halls who need to quarantine will be required to do so at home, with few exceptions.

  • Are required to submit COVID-19 test results before and after university-sponsored travel. Tests should be collected no more than three days prior to departure and three days after returning.

When you become fully vaccinated, upload your vaccine status to be removed from the COVID-19 testing pool, exempted from other requirements and entered to win prizes.

Vaccine data 

App State’s COVID-19 data dashboard will be relaunched Aug. 23 with fall 2021 data. The reported metrics will inform the campus community about the efficacy of App State's COVID suppression efforts. 

  • Chancellor Everts reported in her Aug. 20 update to campus that preliminary data show more than 47% of our students and 85% of our employees have reported that they are fully vaccinated. 

Each Monday, the university’s COVID-19 Vaccines page is updated with COVID-19 vaccine data. As of Aug. 20:

  • App State has administered 4,829 vaccines.

  • In Watauga County, 29,865 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. 

COVID-19 vaccine resources: 
App State's COVID-19 Vaccines pageApp State's Vaccine Incentives page •  Vaccines for COVID-19 (CDC)COVID-19 Vaccine Information (NCDHHS) 

COVID-19 data: 
AppHealthCare dashboardCOVID-19 vaccines dashboard (NCDHHS)

COVID-19 Booster Shots

On Aug. 13, the CDC recommended COVID-19 booster shots for immunocompromised individuals.

  • Eligible individuals can receive a booster shot on campus at Student Health Service (SHS) — call 828-262-3100 for an appointment. You will be asked to attest that you are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Bring your vaccination card so that SHS can verify which vaccine you previously received.

Booster shots for all fully vaccinated individuals are coming soon. While vaccines are highly effective against preventing severe illness and death, three new CDC studies show that immunity from vaccines is waning over time — especially due to the Delta variant.  

Visit the university’s COVID-19 Vaccines page for additional information about COVID-19 booster shots.

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Tests and Required Reporting

Get a COVID-19 test if you have COVID-19 symptoms or after a known exposure

The CDC recommends that individuals get a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms or after a known exposure, regardless of vaccination status. Read more about where and how to get a COVID-19 test.

Report COVID-19 tests, results, exposures and quarantine orders

Students and employees are required to self report the following via a secure Illness/Exposure Concern Report form:

  • COVID-19 tests and results, whether positive or negative.

  • Known COVID-19 exposures, regardless of vaccination status.

  • If they have been instructed to quarantine by public health. 

Use the same form to submit a “Care and Concern” report:

  • If a student or employee reports illness, tests and results, exposure and/or quarantine orders to you.

  • If you hear of others who may have COVID-19 and/or a known exposure, regardless of vaccination status. 

This information is used for contact tracing and to monitor COVID-19 spread on campus — all reported information will remain confidential. Learn more about what happens when someone tests positive.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 test:

  • 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.

  • The university’s contact tracing team will also reach out to your known close contacts and provide them with instructions. Unvaccinated close contacts will be required to quarantine.

COVID-19 TestingReporting COVID-19 Cases

Face Coverings Update and Campus Safety and Operations

Face coverings update

NCDHHS recommends that everyone wear a mask in indoor public spaces if you live in an area of high or substantial levels of transmission as defined by the CDC until more people are vaccinated and viral transmission decreases. 

All North Carolina counties — including Watauga County  — are currently designated "high” transmission areas.

  • Face coverings are required in all indoor campus locations, as well as in shared university vans and motor pool vehicles, regardless of vaccination status. Visit the university’s Face Coverings page for the latest guidance. 

Campus safety and operations

  • Students and employees should monitor themselves daily and stay home if they feel unwell or have possible COVID-19 symptoms.

  • The Office of University Events has updated its Campus Event Guidelines to help ensure health and safety at campus events. If you are planning an event, review the information for campus requirements, as well as recommendations for events with food and beverage.

Face CoveringsReporting COVID-19 CasesHealth and Safety on Campus

Information for Students

The Aug. 13 update to campus shared ways for students to get involved and connected, as well as some of the many resources for students. Additionally, the new App Up toolkit includes quick facts, live webcams, digital swag, and all things App State. 

Campus Dining is hiring students

Cascades and McAlister’s Deli in the Plemmons Student Union, McAlister’s Select in Trivette Dining Hall, and Rise Market + Bakery at Leon Levine Hall are temporarily closed until staff can be hired at the beginning of the fall semester. 

Campus Dining offers competitive wages and perks for all student employees, which include pay that is commensurate with experience, free shift meals and flexible schedules. Visit Campus Dining’s Employment Opportunities page to learn more. 

Event and activity resources:
AppalachianTodayEngageCampus ActivitiesUniversity RecreationTurchin Center

Additional resources for students:
App Up toolkit Academic AffairsOffice of the Dean of StudentsMountaineer Food Hub & Free StoreWellness resources for students

Additional Information:

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

Coming soon:

  • Fall 2021 COVID-19 data dashboard (Aug. 23).

  • Additional information about COVID-19 testing related to university-sponsored travel.

Additional resources:
Latest UpdatesFace CoveringsCOVID-19 VaccinesReporting COVID-19 Cases
COVID-19 Testing