Continuity in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 update from App State - week of Oct. 12 - 16

Posted 10/16/20 at 8:55 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.

App Strong. App Resilient.

Each of us can continue to help slow the spread of COVID-19 at App State and in the greater community. Keep following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) and campus safety protocols! Together, we can continue to be strong and resilient.

Students, check out these ways to have fun while staying safe:
Homecoming 2020EngageCampus ActivitiesUniversity Recreation

Key Takeaways:

  • Clusters are defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) as a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage among cases. Clusters are considered active until there have been no cases in isolation for a 28-day period. Of App State’s active clusters, seven have no active cases; however, 28 days have not yet passed since the last positive result.

Key Response Measures:

We continue to add new response tactics as we build upon those we have had in place for several months, which include:

  • Mental health/wellness resources: To address isolation, loss, lack of motivation and other feelings due to the presence of COVID-19, remember your campus resources.

  • Employment resources for students: App State’s Career Development Center provides resources for students seeking employment. Begin by visiting Career Studio, which provides resume reviews and tips on how to do a job search in Handshake. Then, view an online presentation on how to find a part-time job and visit Handshake to search for work on campus or in Boone. Students can also email their resume or questions to careercenter@appstate.edu.

  • Campus Dining update: Although Campus Dining has closed some locations due to low demand, they continue to offer the most popular dining items in other campus locations. In addition, they have opened additional dining space in Roess Dining Hall to ensure adequate space for maintaining distance while eating. Visit Campus Dining’s Fall 2020 Continuity of Operations page for the latest information.

  • Targeted COVID testing: On Oct. 15, AppHealthCare conducted on-campus targeted testing at Gardner and Coltrane residence halls. The university continues to work with AppHealthCare to schedule targeted testing at off-campus housing locations. Results from these tests will be included in the on-campus testing data reported each Monday.

  • Weekly COVID-19 testing events: On-campus COVID-19 testing events are held each week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

  • On-going briefings, strategy and tactical meetings: Chancellor Everts meets regularly with President Hans and UNC System leadership and daily with her vice chancellors and emergency management team. University representatives meet daily with local public health Monday-Friday and on weekends as needed, and every Tuesday and Thursday with the NCDHHS COVID response team.

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 15,655
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine availability: 83% available (using 17%)
Current meal support availability: 83% available (using 17%)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Aug. 1 - present): 12
Current residence hall capacity: 76% in use (approx.)
Classes meeting face-to-face (%): 15% (approx.)
Classes meeting hybrid (%): 30% (approx.)
Classes meeting all-remote (%): 55% (approx.)
Current percentage of active cases in students who live on campus: 25%
Current percentage of active cases in students who live off campus: 75%
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 268
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 230

Latest News:

Contact tracing update

Contact tracing is under the purview of public health; however, the university assists using trained contact tracing staff. If you receive a confirmed positive COVID-19 result or are determined to be a close contact to a known positive case, public health staff will reach out to you to provide guidance, support and ensure you are able to safely isolate or quarantine. These efforts help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

  • Answer the call: In response to questions about how contact tracing calls are identified, AppHealthCare has shared that calls from public health may show up as “NC Outreach” or “Contact Tracing” or from 844-628-7223 or 828-264-4995; however, some cell phone carriers may flag the call as spam. If you receive a message, please return the call.

  • Download the free SlowCOVIDNC exposure notification app. More than 150,000 people state-wide have downloaded the app, which sends a notification if you have been in close contact with someone who has shared a positive COVID-19 test result.  SlowCOVIDNC protects your identity and privacy while empowering you to protect yourself, your family and your community. Read more about how the app works.

On-campus flu shot events 

  • Students: Wellness and Prevention Services coordinates free on-campus flu shot clinics for students. Two clinics have been held and future dates will be published on the Flu Clinics Fall 2020 page.

  • Faculty and staff: Health Promotion and AppHealthCare will conduct flu vaccine clinics and COVID-19 screenings on Friday, Oct. 23, from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and on Friday, Oct. 30, from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Both events will be held in the Rivers Street Parking Deck. These events for App State faculty, staff, retirees, spouses/domestic partners, and dependents who are over 16 years of age. Registration is required and both drive-up and walk-up appointments are available. View the announcement for details and to register

Communications and updates

  • Get tested: Free COVID-19 pop-up testing events for students, faculty and staff will be held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in October in the Rivers Street Parking Deck from noon - 5 p.m. Visit the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for all upcoming testing events. 

    • No appointments are required; however, you will be asked to show your AppCard. Walk-up and drive-up testing will be available. If you drive-up, you will remain in your vehicle and a technician will conduct your test there.

  • On-campus early voting: One-stop early voting in the Plemmons Student Union for voters registered in Watauga County began on Thursday, Oct. 15, and continues each weekday and Saturdays through Saturday, Oct. 31. During this time, the East Howard Street parking lot is reserved for voters and/or for individuals who have COVID-19 testing appointments at Student Health Service. Visit Watauga County Board of Elections for early voting hours. Visit North Carolina State Board of Elections’ Voting and Coronavirus page for information about safeguards at voting sites.

  • App State Football Spectator Update: In an Oct. 16 press release, App State Athletics announced that beginning with the Oct. 22 home football game, App State will welcome 2,100 spectators to Kidd Brewer Stadium. Priority will be given to football student-athlete families, App State students and football season ticket holders. All spectators will be assigned seats, and other measures will be in place to ensure the health and safety of fans, student-athletes and staff. No tailgating will be permitted on the App State campus. Review the press release for additional information, including Safety Precautions and Requirements and Team Safety Precautions.

  • Scheduled winter break closure update: The Sept. 26 update to campus included information about upcoming breaks and noted that the university will remain open with the exception of the scheduled winter break closure, Dec. 24 - Jan. 1. At a recent virtual HR Town Hall meeting, Mark Bachmeier shared that during this break, we will maximize teleworking to the greatest extent possible, and will do everything possible to re-assign or find other work for those who cannot telework.

  • Spring 2021 Schedule of Classes: The Spring 2021 Schedule of Classes has been published, and students can view available courses on the Office of the Registrar site. The location and section note includes information about the class delivery method — face-to-face, hybrid or online.

  • Additional campus updates and information:

Information coming soon:

  • Answers to FAQs about dining, housing and parking for students moving to all-remote instruction

  • Fall 2020 Commencement