Departing for and returning from winter break must include COVID-19 safety protocols, in order to protect yourselves and others from transmission of COVID-19. The information below will assist as you plan for travel and participation in family/friend gatherings, and help you prepare for returning to campus for the spring semester.
The information on this page includes guidance from the UNC System as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) NCDHHS Guidance for Safer Holiday Breaks, and American College Health Association’s Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education as Students Return Home brief.
Transitioning to the spring 2021 semester and preparing to return to campus
The university remains open with reduced operations. Classes begin Jan. 19.
This semester, it is critically important that you continue to check your App State email for operations updates and other important news and reminders.
Personal safety protocols
Be vigilant with personal safety protocols, including following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash).
Limit your activities and exposure to others to the greatest extent possible and avoid high-risk settings. Any close interaction with persons outside your immediate household or residence hall roommates will present an opportunity for infection. Exposures could disrupt your plans and travel schedule.
Get tested for COVID-19 prior to and after traveling, even if you have no symptoms. Take advantage of the university’s free COVID-19 testing events or check the NCDHHS No-Cost Community Testing Events page for no-cost events across North Carolina.
If you have not already, consider getting a flu shot.
Download the free SlowCOVIDNC exposure notification app that sends a notification if you have been in close contact with someone who has shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Your identity is protected.
Avoid large gatherings, limit attendance to 10 or fewer, and gather outdoors if possible. Review NCDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Private Social Gatherings.
If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the instructions of public health. This includes answering the call and participating in contact tracing. If you become infected or are exposed to a person who is confirmed to be infected, you will need to isolate or quarantine. Isolation is implemented with confirmed positive cases; quarantine is implemented with cases of potential exposure. When a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to be isolated or is exposed and needs to be quarantined, the university assists AppHealthCare as needed. App State will continue to support students in isolation and/or quarantine during the university breaks. Learn more about campus isolation and quarantine procedures.
Carefully review data on the prevalence of COVID-19 in your local community and in your final destination and take appropriate precautions. Check the NCDHHS COVID-19 County Alert System to see counties with the highest levels of viral spread and to review critical actions we can all take to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Review regulations governing travel to your destination. Some states require the completion of a travelers’ form prior to arrival, along with specific restrictions and testing requirements after arrival. Travelers who are ill, are infected, or have recently been exposed to the virus may not be allowed to board airplanes and trains.
Reach out for help if you are experiencing emotional distress of any kind. Review mental and emotional well-being information.
Students, visit Counseling and Psychological Services’ Emergency Services webpage for local and national resources.
Faculty and staff, review HR’s Employee Assistance Program page. A number of free, confidential resources are available for faculty and staff. In addition, confidential counseling is available for faculty and staff free of charge.
If you have a concern about a student, staff or faculty member who may have COVID-19, you can submit a “Care and Concern” report to ensure the university is aware of their positive test result. In addition, if you have a concern about a student, you can report that concern to the Dean of Students.
Medical and mental health and well-being
- Seek medical advice if you develop any possible symptoms of COVID-19 or have any pre-existing conditions. Contact your primary care provider for information on how to schedule an appointment. Students, Student Health Service reopened with limited services on Jan. 13, regular hours resume on Jan. 19.
- Get a flu vaccine if you haven’t already done so.
- If you are feeling sad or anxious or experiencing emotional distress of any kind, reach out for help or guidance from your primary care provider, psychologist/mental health clinician.
Counseling and Psychological Services, known as the Counseling Center, offers counseling, emergency services and more — mainly through Telemental Health. Visit its Get Started webpage for consultation information or its Self-Help page for tips on how to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as information on anxiety, grief and loss, mindfulness, stress and other mental health-related topics.
- Wellness and Prevention Services offers virtual events, peer education, weekly motivation messages and more.
Students with residence hall contracts
Students with residence hall contracts have received updated information about spring 2021 move-in, COVID-19 re-entry testing and ongoing surveillance testing, isolation and quarantine requirements, and face covering and visitation policies via email — view the information here.
Academic building access
Campus building access will vary through Feb. 1. A key or card swipe may be required for access. Contact your department chair or administrator with questions. Visit area websites for more information.
Parking and parking passes
Parking permit holders (students, faculty, staff) may park in any open lot, excluding parking decks, through Feb. 1 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.
The deadline to return rental textbooks for fall 2020 was Dec. 15.
Beginning Dec. 11, students can order textbooks online for the spring semester. All students should order their textbooks online, and orders will be shipped directly via UPS Ground. The ordering system opened Dec. 11, and order fulfillment began Jan. 4.
Visit the Bookstore’s Textbook Rental Program page for more information.
Library books and materials
Turn in all materials borrowed from Belk Library and Information Commons, using any remote campus book drops or bringing them into the library. If you still need the items after winter break, you have the option to mail them back, or books and materials can be renewed online or on the phone. Technology equipment cannot be renewed remotely.
Quarantine and isolation
NCDHHS recommends that anyone preparing to travel quarantine for 14 days and monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19 before their departure, regardless of whether you feel ill and even if you have not had any confirmed exposure to anyone with the virus. Any exposures could disrupt your travel plans. If you become infected or are exposed to a person who is confirmed to be infected, you will need to isolate or quarantine.
Isolation is implemented with confirmed positive cases; quarantine is implemented with cases of potential exposure. AppHealthCare, our local health department, is responsible for public health in Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties. When a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to be isolated or is exposed and needs to be quarantined, the university assists AppHealthCare as needed. App State will continue to support students in isolation and/or quarantine during the university breaks.Learn more about campus isolation and quarantine procedures..
App State will continue to work with public health on contact tracing efforts during university breaks. Please remember that if you receive a call from public health, it is critically important that you answer and/or return their calls and answer their questions. The purpose of the call is to support those who may have been in close contact with the contagious person and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Learn more about contact tracing
Returning to campus
As when you left campus, when traveling back to campus, follow CDC’s guidance for travel during COVID-19 and get a COVID-19 test before traveling and upon arrival.
All students returning to residence halls for the spring 2021 semester are required to get tested for COVID-19 prior to their return to campus. Prior to checking in to their residence halls, students must present a negative COVID-19 test. Additionally, App State will continue surveillance testing as well as regular testing events throughout the spring semester.
In addition, face coverings continue to be required for students, staff and faculty when on campus and, this semester, all students, faculty and staff will receive five new washable, reusable face coverings.
If you travel, follow CDC’s guidance for travel during COVID-19.
- The least risky travel option is private transportation by yourself or your family members. If in a car with others outside your household, wear a face covering and sit in the back seat if someone else is driving. If weather conditions permit, open the windows.
- Reduce the number of stops on the trip whenever possible. If you must travel by air, consider taking a direct flight, or if driving, pack food/snacks for the trip.
- Delay travel if sick or exposed, and follow the guidance of public health and your health care provider if you feel ill, have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, or exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Take safety precautions, especially if using public transportation. Use a disinfecting/sanitizing wipe to clean any touchable surfaces in the vehicle in which you are traveling. Wear a face covering at all times, stay at least 6 feet away from other people whenever possible, and carry and use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Re-check for any requirements or restrictions at your destination.