As Appalachian State University continues a phased return of staff and faculty to work on campus, safety is paramount. Our top priority in all decisions is the health, safety and well-being of the App State community.
This website presents COVID-19 safety protocols to help create a safe and supportive work environment for employees as they transition back to campus. These protocols were developed based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the State of North Carolina. That work is ongoing, and you can read about the many teams involved and their work here.
As scientific knowledge of the coronavirus continues to evolve, the COVID-19 pandemic changes over time, and government and public health officials issue new orders and guidance, App State will update procedures and plans as needed. The university will follow all state and federal orders, directives of the University of North Carolina System, CDC and state and local public health guidelines in order to ensure the safest possible on-campus environment.
All faculty and staff are expected to fully comply with the latest procedures, protocols and requirements published here and in any linked documents and websites, as well as with any additional guidance received from their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources.
This website is updated regularly. Please continue to visit this site for the most updated return to work guidance and information.
Phased return of staff and faculty
App State is phasing in a gradual return of staff and faculty to campus while ensuring appropriate physical distancing, cleaning and sanitizing of workplace surfaces, and availability of personal protective equipment for on-campus employees. Department chairs and supervisors will decide which employees will return to work on campus and how to implement these requirements for their units and local situations, and they will communicate those decisions to their employees.
Staff and faculty must coordinate their return to campus with their supervisor or department chair. This is to ensure that each unit is coordinating schedules and communicating as fluidly as possible. Any approved plan to designate additional employees as mandatory will give special consideration to employees who are determined to be “high risk” for experiencing complications from contracting COVID-19.
Prior to returning to campus, staff and faculty must complete an online training course, Pandemics: Slowing the Spread. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and is available online. Read more and access the course here.
The Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes offered a variety of course types to allow greater physical distancing in classrooms and flexibility for faculty and student needs. The Spring 2021 Schedule of Classes offers the same variety. Read more about Course Delivery. Faculty can find information about continuity of research, creative and scholarly activities here.
Guidance for supervisors
During the phased return, supervisors should consider implementing the following measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus:
- Schedule partial staffing on alternating days of the week.
- Schedule consistent work teams on the same shifts, so that if a person on one shift becomes sick, workers on the other shifts are protected.
- Stagger workplace arrival and departure times, break times and lunch breaks to minimize population density at building entrances and exits and in break areas, restrooms and other common spaces.
- Work closely with Human Resources and/or Academic Affairs to address any questions you have about COVID-19 accommodations and/or leave provisions for your direct reports or departments. Here’s where you can read more about who should take extra precautions.
- Supervisors should not share or confirm any personally identifiable information regarding COVID-19 test results of direct reports or department members.
Building hours and access
- When the university is open and in session, most academic buildings will be unlocked M-F, 7 am - 8 pm. Faculty and staff access after 8 pm and on weekends will require a key or card swipe. Contact your department chair or administrator with questions, and remember faculty and staff must complete return to work requirements before coming back to campus.
- Some campus buildings will continue to operate with limited access and others, such as the Plemmons Student Union, Campus Dining facilities, and Belk Library and Information Commons, will operate with special hours of operation and access restrictions. Visit area websites for more information.
High Risk Accommodation
Faculty and staff may report any high risk health factors or other circumstances that may impact their ability to work on campus or to comply with workplace safety requirements by completing a High Risk Identification form. Human Resources manages this process in order to keep all information confidential. To learn more, view the High Risk Consideration FAQs PDF maintained by Human Resources. To request accommodation, use the High Risk Identification form found here (log-in required).
If you have possible COVID-19 symptoms, stay home
Employees who return to the workplace are expected to evaluate themselves for the presence of possible COVID-19 symptoms every day before leaving for work via a Daily Health Check. To be eligible to report to work, an employee must not have any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19.
Do not report to work if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Muscle pain.
- New loss of taste or smell.
- Sore throat (secondary symptom).
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should:
- Stay home.
- Notify your healthcare provider for guidance.
- Notify your supervisor.
The CDC provides guidelines about what to do if you are sick, which you can access here. For information about testing, please visit the university's COVID-19 Testing page.
Information about Time and Leave Reporting During COVID-19 Reduced Operations, COVID-19 Special Leave Provisions and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) may be found here.
Employee self-reporting of COVID-19 tests
Employees are required to report when they have been tested for COVID-19. For complete instructions on when and how to do this, visit the university’s Reporting COVID-19 webpage.