COVID-19 update from App State – face covering policy

Posted 06/19/20 at 4:55 p.m.

In preparation for the return of students, faculty and staff to campus, we seek to create the safest possible learning and working environment. In Chancellor Everts’ June 12 message to campus, she shared that face coverings would be required for students, faculty and staff when on campus. This update provides additional information and a link to Appalachian’s full policy. 

Because COVID-19 is spread through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes, one of the most important tools we have in this fight are face coverings.

In situations where at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained or guaranteed — e.g., hallways, restrooms or multi-person work stations — on-campus staff, faculty and students are required to wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose. 

All students, faculty and staff will be provided with three face coverings. 

  • Everyone is required to carry a face covering at all times while on campus, in case they encounter an unforeseen situation where at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Such situations are likely to occur in hallways, stairwells, elevators, restrooms and kitchens.
  • You are not required to wear a face covering when you are not in close contact with someone else, such as when you are working alone in a room or office, or when you are walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, regardless of distancing, in classrooms and all instructional areas.
  • You are not required to wear face coverings in private living spaces within residential halls, but the policy does apply to common areas such as lobbies.
  • Read the policy in full here.

The global pandemic has forced all of us to adopt new patterns of behavior that are sometimes awkward and uncomfortable. We need to work together to reinforce the importance of engaging in all of the behaviors we know prevent the spread of the virus – handwashing, staying home when ill, physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and showing we care about each other by doing what is right to help fight COVID-19.  

We are relying on members of our community to adhere to these standards, but when necessary, we also will enforce these behaviors. This will include asking students who do not have a face covering to leave the classroom, campus building, or other venue and only return when they have a face covering. Students who continue to violate this policy may be subject to further action per the Code of Student Conduct. Similarly, employees who do not wear a face covering may be subject to disciplinary action based on our policies regarding employee performance and behaviors in the workplace.

  • Students who seek an exception to this policy because they are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition should contact the Office of Disability Resources.
  • Employees with a similar request should complete the "High Risk Identification Form" found here. Accommodations may be made on a case by case basis to facilitate teaching and learning in specific environments.

Wearing a face covering is an expression of care, an acknowledgment of community, and a vital part of our plan to make our university as safe as possible for everyone. Thank you for helping keep our community as safe as possible by abiding by these guidelines.

For more information, contact