COVID-19 update from App State - week of Aug. 17-23

Posted 08/23/20 at 4:55 p.m.

App State’s weekly progress report to campus provides the latest operational updates and important information related to the fall 2020 semester and beyond.

Fall 2020: Answers to trending questions:

Fall semester classes began Monday, Aug. 17. Staff and faculty continue working steadily, in accordance with UNC System expectations and our educational mission, to assess and adjust every aspect of the Appalachian Experience to keep health and safety at the forefront. 

How the university partners with local public health: 

The Aug. 1 operations update to campus shared information on how App State partners with public health officials on campus reporting, isolation and quarantine procedures. In addition, the App State Coronavirus Information site is regularly updated with the university's cumulative and active case count dashboard as well as information on reporting, testing and more. 

Reporting and responding to positive cases of COVID-19:

With the beginning of the fall semester, it is expected that COVID-19 cases associated with the university will increase. The university community can flatten the curve by following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash), diligently reporting positive test results and following the guidance and instructions of public health officials and medical teams. The information below is also included on the Reporting page of the App State Coronavirus Information site.

  • How to report a positive or suspected positive case of COVID-19 in a student, faculty or staff member: A prominent link to report illness or exposure has been added to every page of the university’s coronavirus website. Complete the short web form to alert the Environmental Health and Safety & Emergency Management team about your concern. They will immediately begin working with public health professionals to reach out to the individual, conduct contact tracing and provide needed resources and support. Faculty and staff who may need leave for reasons related to COVID-19 should communicate with their supervisor and/or Human Resources about special COVID-19 leave provisions that are currently in effect. All reported information will remain confidential. View the Illness/Exposure form here.

  • Reporting requirements: Faculty, staff and students are required to report positive test results to the university. Additionally, in North Carolina, when someone tests positive, their health care provider is required by law to report the positive test result to their local health department. They also report positive test cases to the state. This is to ensure health care is being provided to individuals who have tested positive, and the health of the public is being protected by implementing isolation procedures. App State will report positive cases of faculty, staff and students that have been verified by public health to campus. No personally identifiable information will be shared with the university community.

  • What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19? The top priority when someone tests positive is to provide that person with needed medical care. Local public health works to link students to care as appropriate and in coordination with Student Health Services as needed. When an App State student has a positive test result, the university’s Student Health Service and Dean of Students teams will assist AppHealthCare and the student as needed.

  • Contact tracing: Local public health departments are also responsible for contact tracing – no matter where someone received a test. This means AppHealthCare will work to:

    • Identify cases of COVID-19

    • Isolate those who have tested positive

    • Identify and quarantine close contacts of those who have tested positive for 14 days

    • Monitor positive cases and close contacts until released

    If you receive a call from public health, it is critically important that you answer and/or return their calls, and answer their questions. Contact tracing is one of the most effective tools in reducing the spread of COVID-19. If public health staff determine you need to isolate or quarantine, they will support you and also reach out to the university to provide additional support to students, faculty and staff as they need it.

App State Data Dashboard:

  • Positive case count reporting: Each weekday, the university case dashboard is updated with confirmed active and cumulative case counts. Local data are provided by AppHealthCare district health department. App State reports confirmed cases of all students, employees and subcontractors regardless of where they are or where they are tested. The Environmental Health and Safety & Emergency Management team works with public health to confirm all reported cases prior to adding them to the dashboard. Some of the cases reported on the App State dashboard are reported by other public health agencies, but all are confirmed by public health before they are added to the App State dashboard. 

  • Dashboard enhancements: In a message from Chancellor Everts to campus on Aug. 17, she announced forthcoming enhancements to the App State case count dashboard. These changes will include charts that show the daily changes in active and cumulative case counts. Detailed information on regional cases is available on the AppHealthCare website.

Communications and updates:

  • Messages from Chancellor Everts: Chancellor Everts shares weekly updates with campus. These include updates related to UNC System and Board of Governors' decisions that affect our campus planning, preparations and responses to the pandemic. Read these messages here.

  • Academic Calendar: In a message from Chancellor Everts to campus on May 22, she announced updates to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar from the University Registration and Calendar Committee. This included the elimination of Fall Break in order to hold our last day of classes on Nov. 24. In addition, the committee has updated the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar. View the 2020-21 academic calendar on the Registrar’s Office website here.

  • Parking passes for faculty and staff: Online sales for parking passes end Aug. 31; however, in-person sales continue year round. Daily parking is available in the Rivers Street parking deck for an hourly fee. Other parking information, including refund information, can be found in the parking policy manual on the Parking & Transportation website

  • Progress updates: These logistics updates share key campus operations information including safety and community expectations. Read the previous update here.

  • Clearinghouse website: App State’s coronavirus website is the clearinghouse site to navigate to the latest updates across campus, find information about returning to campus, and see the university's cumulative and active case count dashboard. 

  • Cleaning for COVID-19 guide: Facilities Operations released a “Cleaning for COVID-19” safety and sanitization guide with information and resources for campus areas and departments. View this guide and other resources on the Facilities Operations website here.

Information coming soon:

  • On-campus study locations update

  • Enhancements to the COVID-19 positive case count dashboard