COVID-19 update from App State - week of Nov. 9 - 14

Posted 11/14/20 at 6:35 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.

On Nov. 10, Gov. Roy Cooper announced new limitations for the state through Dec. 4. Indoor gatherings are reduced to 10 people (with some exceptions). Outdoor gatherings continue to be limited to 50, and the executive order does not change the capacity limits for certain facilities and venues. Review the FAQ document for details.

New guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) includes information about how to help keep friends, family and loved ones safe this holiday season, including the importance of wearing face coverings when gathered with people outside your household.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states wearing a face covering doesn’t just protect others from COVID-19 ― it also protects you.

As we count down to our last day of classes on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Thanksgiving break, be sure to familiarize yourself with the university’s Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan. It is critical now more than ever to protect yourself, your friends and your loved ones.

  • Continue to follow the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) and adhere to campus safety protocols.

  • Limit your activities and exposure to others 14 days prior to traveling.

  • Get tested for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms. 

Students, check out these ways to have fun while staying safe:

Will Sliney: Marvel & Star Wars Comic Book Artist
Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Will Sliney, an artist for Marvel and Star Wars, will teach a virtual class on how to draw some of your favorite characters! Presented by APPS.

Reasons for Hope: Live Zoom webinar with Dr. Jane Goodall
Nov. 18, 1 p.m.
Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats, will deliver a special presentation followed by a Q&A session with App State students. Free event, registration and App State credentials required. Open to the first 1,000 registrants. Visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Events site for related events. 

Nov. 19, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Sanford Mall
A day of fun, games, make-and-takes, food and prizes! Face coverings required. Sponsored by APPS and Wellness and Prevention Services. 

Garden Volunteer Work Day
Nov. 20, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Get outside and volunteer at the LLC Garden or the Roots Garden. Garden representatives will be on hand to give instructions and credit for attendance. Face coverings required. 

More Events and Activities
Appalachian TodayEngageCampus Activities 
Hayes School of Music Live StreamsUniversity Recreation

Key Takeaways:

Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan updates

Last week’s message included a summary of key details from the Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan page. As we approach Thanksgiving Break, these three key actions can help you have a safer holiday:

  • If you are travelling, get tested for COVID-19 prior to departing and after returning to the Boone area. Take advantage of the university’s free COVID-19 testing events.

  • Reduce the number of people with whom you have close contact two weeks prior to departure.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the instructions of public health. App State will continue providing support for students in isolation and/or quarantine status during university breaks.

Key Hours and Operations updates 

  • Residence halls close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25, through Friday, Jan. 15. Residential students will be required to turn in their keys prior to leaving or be charged a $55 re-key fee. Keys will be reissued when students return in January and after the university receives documentation of a negative COVID-19 test. Students who live in residence halls will receive additional communications about testing options, documentation requirements and timelines via email. 

  • Campus Dining will operate through Dec. 12 with reduced operations after Nov. 25. The newly announced Meals for Mountaineers program will be available through Jan. 10 for students, faculty and staff who would like a free meal during break.

  • Belk Library and Information Commons will be open through Dec. 12 for individual study. Visit the Belk Library and Information Commons site for real time building occupancy and capacity updates and building access and hours information

  • Counseling and Psychological Services for students will maintain current operations through Dec. 9. During winter break, telemental health offerings will be available on a limited schedule. Students with urgent mental health needs should visit the Emergency Services webpage. Check out the Counseling Center’s recently published guide: Prep Your Coping Skills for Winter Break.

  • University Recreation (UREC) facilities will continue to operate with adjusted hours through Dec. 18. Visit UREC’s COVID-19 Updates page for information on recreation opportunities and reservations instructions.

  • Parking permit holders (students, faculty, staff) may park in any open lot, including parking decks, Nov. 23, through Jan. 18 regardless of permit type.

    • Student permit holders who will not be returning to campus in the spring should return their parking pass and will receive a prorated parking refund to their student account. The permit can be delivered in person or mailed, along with your Banner ID, to the Parking & Transportation office.

    • Student permit holders who plan on leaving a car in a remote lot over break are invited to take advantage of extra security and weather protection by moving your car into the Rivers Street Parking Deck at no additional charge.

  • The Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan page’s section on academic building access includes information on climate control and energy savings during the break. Facilities Operations has shared additional details on their COVID-19 Operations page, specifically that most building temperatures will be set to 55°F from Dec. 11 through Jan. 11, and tips for faculty and staff on how to winterize your office.

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:

  • For faculty and staff who are concerned about students, App State’s Office of Student Success (OSS) website includes a Quick Referral Guide. This guide outlines resources and explains the referral process and options. Not sure if you should refer? Please do. If nothing else, it lets the student know that you noticed and are concerned.

  • Addressing on-campus food insecurity:

    • The main Mountaineer Food Hub is located in the Office of Sustainability, on the first floor of East Hall, open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Pre-bagged food staples as well as hygiene and special dietary needs items are available. Other on-campus food hubs are currently open in Garwood Hall, Belk Library, and the Access Scholarship Office in DD Dougherty.

    • Campus Dining’s Meals for Mountaineers program provides free, chef-inspired meals for students, faculty and staff weekdays from Dec. 11 through Jan. 14. An intake form is required for each day that you would like to request a meal(s), and daily pick-up options include a single meal or three meals (a hot lunch along with a prepared dinner and breakfast for the next day). Weekender/Celebration Boxes, which include ingredients for three meals per day for individuals or up to four people, are also available. This program is a collaboration of the Office of Sustainability, University Advancement, Student Affairs and Campus Dining and is made possible by in-kind and monetary donations.

  • COVID-19 testing: On-campus COVID-19 testing events are held each week, and targeted testing continues at residence halls. Questions? Contact either App State’s Student Health Service at 828-262-6957 or AppHealthCare’s COVID-19 call center at 828-795-1970.

  • On-going briefings and strategy and tactical meetings: Chancellor Everts meets regularly with 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 weekly with the NCDHHS COVID-19 response team.

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 22,741
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine availability: 96% available (4% in use)
Current meal support availability: 96% available (4% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Aug. 1 - present): 19
Current residence hall occupancy (includes exemption requests in process): 74% in use (approx.)
Classes scheduled for face-to-face instruction (%): 15% (approx.)
Classes taught hybrid (%): 30% (approx.)
Classes taught all-remote (%): 55% (approx.)
Active cases in students who live on campus: 5 (10% of all cases)
Active cases in students who live off campus: 42 (82% of all cases)
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 297
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 259

Latest News:

  • App State Football Spectator Update: On Nov. 5, App State Athletics announced that beginning with the Nov. 14 home football game, App State will welcome 2,170 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 required to wear face coverings, 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.

  • December Commencement Packet on-campus pickup: Graduating students can pick up commencement packets at the University Bookstore on Nov. 19 and 20, from 9 a.m - 6 p.m., and Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring your mobile device for contactless checkout. The packet includes your diploma cover and other materials to help you celebrate virtual Commencement. Packets not picked up will be mailed to the address listed on your application for graduation.Visit the university’s Commencement site for full details. Graduating students will receive a follow-up email early next week.

Communications and updates

  • Get tested: Free COVID-19 testing events for students, faculty and staff will be held every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in November (through Nov. 23) and each Wednesday in December (through Dec. 16) 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 for your Banner ID and 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.

    • Students can also contact Student Health Service for an appointment. Tests are conducted weekdays during clinic hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Download the free SlowCOVIDNC exposure notification app: This free app sends a notification if you have been in close contact with someone who has shared a positive COVID-19 test result while protecting your identity.

  • Additional campus updates and information:

Information coming soon:

  • Guidance on telework and alternative work for staff during the Remote Learning/Teaching Period (Nov. 25 - Dec. 14) and between fall and spring semesters (Dec. 15 - Jan. 18).

  • Preparing for spring 2021.

  • Guidance on how to participate in outdoor winter activities.