COVID-19 update from App State - week of Dec. 4 - 11

Posted 12/11/20 at 6:38 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 Dec. 8, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order which takes effect Friday, Dec. 11, and will be in place until at least Jan. 8. The order requires people to stay at home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. — Phase 3 also remains in effect, including all reduced capacity limits, sanitation standards and other restrictions. Review the FAQ document for details.

Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), also announced an update to the COVID-19 County Alert System, which indicates counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offers specific recommendations to bring numbers down. 

Today, we celebrate our newest graduates with a virtual Fall Commencement, available to watch here.

  • Nov 25 - Dec 14: The remote learning/teaching period, which includes fall 2020 exams and faculty grading period, ends Monday. Exams have concluded, and final grades are due by Dec. 14.

  • Dec. 15 - Jan. 18: The university will remain open with reduced operations with the exception of the winter break closure (Dec. 24 - Jan. 1) and the state holiday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (Jan. 18).

  • The university is closed for winter break from Dec. 24 - Jan. 1.

  • Jan. 19: First day of spring 2021 semester classes.

As we look ahead to the spring semester, it is critically important that you continue to check your App State email over the break for information about returning to campus, operations updates, and other important news and reminders.

Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan Reminders:

As winter break approaches, continue to review the university’s Holiday and Winter Break Departure and Return Plan. It includes guidance for returning home, travel and holiday gatherings. Important reminders are below.

Students, please take these actions before the end of the semester

  • Return your textbooks either via a prepaid UPS shipping label or in person to the on-campus dropoff location (where books were picked up in August) by Dec. 15.

  • Return your parking pass if you will not be returning to campus in the spring for a prorated refund to your student account. Drop off or mail it, along with your Banner ID, to the Parking & Transportation office.

Guidance for a safer winter break and holiday season

Because the holidays are a time when families and others typically gather together, it is important to exercise extreme caution this holiday season. The CDC and NCDHHS recommend that the safest option is to stay at home and celebrate only with those who reside in your home.

Campus operations reminders:

Campus building access will vary through Jan. 18. A key or card swipe may be required for access. Contact your department chair or administrator with questions. In addition, please visit area websites for adjusted and/or limited end of semester and winter break hours of operation.

  • From Dec. 11 - Jan. 11, temperatures in most academic and support buildings will be lowered to maximize energy and cost savings. Visit Facilities Operations’ COVID-19 Operations page for details and additional information.

  • A Dec. 11 message to campus from the Office of Human Resources included reminders and information about reduced operations and alternative work during the time between fall and spring semesters.

  • The AppCard Office is closed through Jan. 1. If you need assistance while the office is closed for winter break, email

  • 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, through Jan. 18 regardless of permit type.

Key Response Measures:

Resources for faculty, staff and students:

  • Students facing financial hardship should contact the Case Management Team in the Office of the Dean of Students for help to access available resources. 

  • Faculty and staff can apply for loans of up to $750 through the Emergency Loan Fund. View full details of this and other employee assistance programs, as well as a link to the online application, on Human Resources’ Employee Relations page.

  • The Meals for Mountaineers program will be available weekdays from Dec. 11 - Jan. 14 providing chef-inspired meals at no charge to App State students, staff and faculty in need.

  • The Mountaineer Food Hub & Free Store in the Office of Sustainability offers pre-bagged food staples, hygiene and special dietary needs items to those in need. It is open by appointment through Jan. 18. Email for a pickup appointment.

  • Reach out for help if you are experiencing emotional distress of any kind. Mental and emotional well-being information is available on the university’s COVID-19 continuity website.

App State community members have asked how they can give back this holiday season:

  • Give to the Mountaineer Emergency Fund, which offers relief to App State students who are struggling with significant, sudden financial emergencies. These grants can make a critical difference for students in situations that may prevent them from continuing their education.

  • Support the Mountaineer Food Hub & Free Store. Donations can be made through an Amazon wishlist.

  • Graduating seniors are invited to make a Senior Class Gift in the amount of their graduation year. These funds support current and future Mountaineers by providing scholarships, support for campus services and academic departments, and more. 

Key Metrics

On-campus tests administered since start of fall semester: 30,377
Classroom transmission: 0 confirmed cases
Current hospitalizations: 0
Current quarantine availability: 100% available (0% in use)
Current meal support availability: 100% available (0% in use)
Police reports responding to violations of gathering limits (Aug. 1 - present): 23
Current residence hall occupancy (includes exemption requests in process): 2%
Active cases in students who live on campus (in residence at time of positive test): 0
Active cases in students who live off campus: 19 (66% of all cases, approx.)
Days since campus planning discussions first started around COVID-19: 324
Days since the campus EOC formally activated to coordinate preparedness/response/recovery efforts: 286

Latest News:

Preparing for spring 2021

Plans are underway for the spring semester and many of this semester’s key response measures will continue.

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

  • Continued collaboration with AppHealthCare: The university will continue to partner with AppHealthCare, our local public health agency, to confirm COVID-19 active cases and clusters, for on-campus surveillance testing events, for contact tracing, and for isolation and quarantine.

  • COVID-19 vaccines: In her remarks to the Board of Trustees that were shared with campus on Dec. 4, Chancellor Everts announced the university will be involved in administering COVID-19 vaccines, and that members of the university's COVID-19 response team have been engaged in conversations with state and local public health officials to begin preparations for distributing the vaccineRead North Carolina's vaccination rollout plan here. Additional information will be shared with campus as it becomes available.

  • Spring COVID-19 testing: As announced by Chancellor Everts in her Dec. 11 message to campusspring surveillance testing will begin on Jan. 4. Visit the university’s COVID-19 Testing page for upcoming testing events in December and January. Additionally, students living in residence halls will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior their move-in date. These students will receive additional information about testing options, documentation requirements and timelines via email.

  • Face coverings distribution: Face coverings will continue to be required for students, faculty and staff when on campus. Prior to the start of the Spring 2021 semester, each student, faculty and staff member will receive five new, washable, reusable face coverings.

    • Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management (EHS&EM) will manage distribution to faculty and staff. EHS&EM has reached out to departmental administrators about face coverings distribution and is preparing supplies for distribution at the start of the spring semester.

    • EHS&EM is working with the Division of Student Affairs to coordinate distribution to students. Distribution plans are being finalized and additional information will be shared with students prior to the start of the spring semester.

    • NCDHHS recommends discarding face coverings that no longer cover the nose and mouth and/or will not stay on your face, have stretched out, have damaged ties or straps, and/or have holes or tears in the fabric. Review the NCDHHS Frequently Asked Questions on Cloth Face Coverings PDF for more information. 

Communications and updates

Information coming soon:

  • Additional winter break closure information.

  • Additional information about preparing for spring 2021.