Confirmed cases of COVID-19

Posted 06/02/20 at 6:30 p.m.

Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) has informed Appalachian State University it has confirmed an off-campus student has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual was in close contact with another individual with a confirmed positive test.

AppHealthCare has also confirmed eleven additional subcontractors who were working on university construction sites have also tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, seven are Watauga County residents and the others lives in other areas. The last days on campus for the subcontracted workers were May 22-26.

All have fully cooperated with isolation instructions and are recovering at home. Public health staff have identified close contacts, who have been instructed to quarantine and who are being provided access to testing during their quarantine period.

Workers will remain off campus until cleared by public health to return.

The case investigation continues, and public health staff will be encouraging testing for those with exposure during their quarantine period. App State and AppHealthCare will work together to continue monitoring COVID-19 at the university and in our community and to keep the public informed.

The university continues working closely with public health and values this relationship, which has allowed for increased testing at construction sites, consistent and transparent reporting to the university and Boone communities, and coordinated public health education measures.

Some key outcomes of this partnership include:

  • AppHealthCare and App State have partnered together with all construction contractors working at the university to conduct broader testing at worksites, including those that have not experienced a positive case to date.
  • The university is implementing enhanced precautionary measures with employees who are on campus as well as with subcontracted workers, which include wearing face coverings, maintaining appropriate physical distance and reviewing North Carolina Governor’s Executive Orders 131 and 135, which require all individuals to wear face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of distance in public areas or work centers.
  • AppHealthCare and App State are partnering on a public health campaign for members of the university community, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
  • Our partnership with AppHealthCare also helps verify tests that may have been performed in other counties. As we hear of self-reported cases that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State, we are coordinating with local public health agencies to the greatest extent possible, in consultation with the North Carolina Division of Public Health Communicable Disease team.

Important information about testing:

“Broad testing is critical in order to identify how much the virus has spread to isolate those who are positive and quarantine close contacts,” said Jennifer Greene, health director for AppHealthCare. “It is important to remember that as we increase the prevalence of testing, we will see an increase in verified, positive cases.”

COVID-19 testing is available for App State students via the university’s Student Health Service. Schedule an appointment by calling (828) 262-3100.

App State faculty and staff can be tested at any of the AppHealthCare clinic locations. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay. To schedule an appointment, call (828) 264-4995. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and many primary care providers also offer testing. More information is available here.

University employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should report positive test results using a web form, which you can access here or by calling 828-262-4008.

All reported information will remain confidential, and helps the university work with public health professionals to conduct contact tracing and provide any resources and support you might need. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should also communicate with Human Resources about special COVID-19 leave provisions that are currently in effect.

If you are concerned about symptoms:

Students who are concerned about symptoms should call Student Health Services at 828-262-3100 and ask to speak with a nurse. Faculty or staff who have concerns about students or their own health diagnoses should reach out to

It is important to rely on official sources of information for facts about COVID-19, not share unconfirmed information, and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your coughs and sneezes, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

Where to find more information:

The university has a dedicated website about its response to COVID-19.

AppHealthCare has developed a website dashboard case count that will be updated regularly. App State will continue to keep the university community informed about verified, positive cases.

Read AppHealthCare’s media release here.

Important public health information regarding COVID-19 is below.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more indoors and 25 or more outdoors
  • Practice the 3Ws if you have to leave your house - Wear a cloth face covering, Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer and Wait 6 feet from others.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Keep distance from others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles
  • If you are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection. Read the CDC’s information about people who are at higher risk here.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms:

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Has a high-risk condition that includes:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Heart disease with complications
    • Compromised immune system
    • Severe obesity - body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
    • Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.

When to get a COVID-19 test:

You should be tested if:

  • You believe you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • If you have no symptoms and you are at higher risk for severe illness (you are 65 or older, you have an underlying health condition or chronic condition), or have been in close contact with someone who is known to have a positive result.
  • If you are someone working in a frontline role or essential business where social distancing is hard to maintain
  • If you are a first responder, law enforcement officer, fire department staff member, or healthcare staff member, please reach out if you would like to be tested
  • If you live in or work in a facility where social distancing is hard to maintain, like congregate living, healthcare facilities or home care

Testing locations:

For a list of testing locations in Watauga County, click here.
For a list of testing locations in Ashe County, click here.
For a list of testing locations in Alleghany County, click here.

For testing, call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare. Please do not just show up to a healthcare provider without calling first. This will help your provider prepare should you need to be tested and lessen the potential exposure to others. AppHealthCare will serve anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. As is our usual day-to-day practice, a patient will not be turned away due to inability to pay.

Members of the App State community who are concerned about symptoms they might be experiencing can contact Student Health Service at (828) 262-3100 or AppHealthCare at (828) 264-4995.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.

Managing Your Overall Health:

During this time, it is important to manage your overall health. There are resources available if you need to reduce anxiety or stress, are experiencing suicidal thoughts, need to better manage chronic conditions and more. Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call 828-264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. AppHealthCare has set up a COVID-19 hotline at 828-795-1970 for information during regular business hours. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community and will work to keep the public informed. Please visit our website for more information - You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Questions from agencies requesting support on COVID-19 response, planning efforts, etc. can contact

Additional Resources:

For the latest official situation updates: