• App State has returned to pre-pandemic operations for the Fall 2021 semester, with safety precautions in place. There are no current plans to move in-person classes online. All students, faculty and staff should get vaccinated against COVID-19. Face coverings are required in all indoor campus locations for students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Read the latest updates
Fall 2021 Guide to Campus Operations

COVID-19 update from App State — September 03, 2021

Posted 09/03/21 at 5:20 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 Note that printed information may be out of date, and always defer to communications with the most recent time and date stamp.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, App State concludes its third week of classes. The university will be closed Monday, Sep. 6 for the Labor Day holiday. In her Sept. 3 message to campus, Chancellor Everts shared that the key to managing the severity of the impact is the COVID-19 vaccine, as vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract COVID-19, and for those who do, the vaccine reduces the severity of the illness, lowers the stress on our medical system and allows the university, our community and our state to remain open and fully functional.

Summary of important updates:

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

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

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

Travel Guidance

University-sponsored domestic travel requiring overnight stays

The university’s Travel page has been updated with new requirements for university-sponsored domestic travel requiring an overnight stay.

  • Students, faculty and staff who would like to participate in domestic travel requiring overnight stay are required to obtain advance approval from App State’s Department of Environmental Health Safety and Emergency Management. It is recommended that you complete required forms a minimum of two weeks prior to travel. Proof of approval should be included with travel request documentation.

  • If you have not already done so, submit your vaccine status now. While vaccine attestation is not required for travel, approval process is greatly expedited for fully vaccinated travelers.

Guidance for Labor Day travel and gatherings

At an Aug. 31 White House press briefing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged unvaccinated individuals not to travel during the Labor Day holiday weekend due to the continued rise of Covid-19 cases. 

CDC says that people who are vaccinated can travel but should take precautions, including:

  • Review and consider transmission rates of all areas that you plan to visit, as well as the associated COVID-19 risk.

  • Review and follow all state and local face covering requirements and other COVID-19-related requirements.

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after travel — get tested if you develop symptoms. 

If you are planning to attend gatherings this holiday weekend:

  • Gather outside whenever possible, especially if there is a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

  • Wear a face covering in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Consider wearing one in crowded outdoor settings.

  • If you are vaccinated, talk with family and friends who are still unvaccinated about the benefits of the vaccine and consider taking them to get vaccinated over the holiday weekend.

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms:

    • Vaccinated — get tested if you develop symptoms or 3-5 days after an exposure, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

    • Unvaccinated — get tested as a precaution and quarantine for 14 days after an exposure.

Resources: 
App State's Travel pageTravel (CDC)COVID Data Tracker (CDC) •  Small and Large Gatherings (CDC)

COVID-19 Testing Update

App State to hold on-campus COVID-19 testing every Wednesday

The next on-campus COVID-19 testing event for students and employees who would like a COVID-19 test for any reason is Wednesday, Sept. 8 from noon - 4 p.m., inside the Holmes Convocation Center.

  • No appointments or payment are required; however, you will be asked to show your AppCard. Test results will be returned within 24 hours.

Unvaccinated students and employees are required to submit a COVID-19 test each week

Beginning next week, students and employees who are unvaccinated or who have not yet uploaded their vaccine status will be required to submit a COVID-19 test each week. PCR or Antigen tests will be accepted.

  • These individuals will receive specific instructions via email — tests must be submitted each week by Friday at 5 p.m.

  • Students, faculty and staff are required to submit their vaccine status and are subject to weekly testing and other requirements until they have done so.

  • Getting a test at the university’s weekly testing event will fulfill this requirement.

  • 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.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 test

If you test positive for COVID-19 follow the instructions below, which are also on the university’s Coronavirus site.

  1. Stay home and reduce in-person contact with others in your household to the greatest extent possible.

  2. Report your test result to the university here.

  3. Monitor your symptoms and follow CDC guidelines for isolation.

The university will conduct contact tracing and follow up with you for symptoms, as well as your known close contacts in order to follow up with them. If you receive a call, it is critically important to cooperate with the contact tracing process — the information is intended to guide the university’s response efforts. Learn more about contact tracing.

Additionally, in a Sept. 1 press release, AppHealthCare and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) urged the community to take actions to prevent further spread and protect critical healthcare resources.

  • COVID-19-related hospitalizations are increasing, both locally and statewide, and resources are limited.

  • DO NOT go to the hospital Emergency Department just for COVID-19 testing. This takes limited resources away from community members who have medical emergencies and risks unnecessary exposure. Instead, utilize other testing opportunities regularly offered by local public health and the university.

Find information about COVID-19 testing and where to report illness, exposure and test results

Visit the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for additional COVID-19 testing guidance, including:

  • When should I get a COVID-19 test?
  • Where can I get a COVID-19 test?
  • Steps to take after being tested. 

Visit the university’s Reporting COVID-19 Cases page to:

  • Self-report COVID-19 illness, exposure and test results.
  • Submit a “Care and Concern” report if you have concerns about the illness or exposure of another App State community member.
  • Report if you have a concern about someone not following university COVID safety policies and procedures. 

Resources: 
COVID-19 TestingCOVID-19 VaccinesReporting COVID-19 Cases

Don’t Wait to Vaccinate!

Nearly all new COVID-19 cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated. Don’t wait to vaccinate — get a safe and effective vaccine to protect yourself and others against hospitalization and death. 

App State’s student leaders are speaking up to encourage their peers to get vaccinated and follow other university COVID-19-related requirements. Student Government Association’s (SGA) Gardin + Evans administration released a Sept. 1 statement encouraging all students to get vaccinated and to adhere to the university’s face covering requirements. View the statement on SGA’s Instagram page (@appstatesga). 

Watch a recently published NCDHHS video featuring Chancellor Everts, Head Football Coach Shawn Clark, Women’s Head Soccer Coach Sarah Strickland and SGA President Bailey Gardin to learn why these Mountaineers got their shot — Mountaineers: It’s time to get your COVID-19 Vaccine at Appalachian State University.

Visit the university’s COVID-19 Vaccines page for more information, including:

Vaccine data

  • As of Sept. 2, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker reports that almost 175 million Americans or about 53% have been fully vaccinated — about 62% of Americans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. 

  • As of Sept. 3, North Carolina has administered more than 10.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and 50% of the state’s total population has been fully vaccinated.

  • App State’s COVID-19 Dashboard is updated each Monday — it provides a snapshot of the data at the time of each update.

  • An Aug. 31 Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index poll finds that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy or opposition has dropped to the lowest levels since its release. This is primarily attributed to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) receiving full approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23, as well as concern over rising cases and the Delta variant surge.

New guidance on COVID-19 vaccine additional doses and boosters

The Aug. 20 update to campus included information about COVID-19 booster shots. NCDHHS’ COVID-19 Vaccine Additional Doses and Boosters page provides additional information and clarification. 

COVID-19 vaccine resources: 
App State's COVID-19 Vaccines pageGet your COVID-19 vaccination recordVaccines for COVID-19 (CDC)COVID-19 Vaccine Information (NCDHHS) 

COVID-19 data: 
App State COVID-19 DashboardAppHealthCare dashboardCOVID-19 vaccines dashboard (NCDHHS)COVID Data Tracker (CDC)

Campus Operations and Upcoming Health and Wellness Events

Update from Campus Dining

Update from University Recreation (UREC)

App State’s Health, Wellness, and Safety Week is Sept. 7 - 14

  • Each year, App State’s Division of Student Affairs hosts events during Health, Wellness and Safety Week to highlight and promote on- and off-campus support services and resources for health and safety efforts.

  • A highlight is the Health, Wellness and Safety Festival, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sanford Mall.

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 safety@appstate.edu.

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