Please note that the information on this page is updated as new information is available, and as CDC, state and local public health guidance changes. For the latest information, please check back regularly.
App State is preparing for the full return to pre-pandemic operations for the fall 2021 semester, with safety precautions in place. The university will continue to make data-driven decisions informed by national, state and local public health guidance, ordinances and restrictions.
We are planning that:
- In-person classes, and on-campus work, will be the norm again.
- Residence halls will be fully occupied, campus dining will be fully operational and events and activities will once again be held in person.
- Classroom seating configurations will return to pre-pandemic conditions.
As guidance changes, this website is updated regularly. Please continue to visit this site for the most updated return to work guidance and information.
This page was last updated July 2, 2021.
Returning to campus planning and preparation
To prepare for fall 2021, all campus facilities and buildings should begin returning to pre-pandemic access and campus operations should begin transitioning back to pre-pandemic levels.
- All faculty and staff should be preparing to return to pre-pandemic work arrangements. Many employees have already returned to on-campus work.
- Leaders of all campus operational areas have been directed to plan for the return of their staff to campus according to their specific operational needs, so there is not one campus-wide date for the end of current work arrangements. The university will continue to operate under the prevailing public health guidance and UNC System guidance.
- Certain COVID-19 employee leave options are still available. Please read the latest communication from the Office of Human Resources and contact them with questions or for assistance in this regard.
- In order for the educational and work environment to be as safe as possible, all faculty, staff and students should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Face covering requirements will remain in place for individuals who choose not to disclose their status as being fully vaccinated.
Will students and/or employees who might be more likely to be severely ill from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions continue to be provided considerations?
- The CDC has determined the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from fully vaccinated people to unvaccinated people is reduced. All students, faculty and staff should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The CDC has provided guidance for people with certain medical conditions who are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19; however, these individuals are no longer categorized as high risk or increased risk. The guidance recommends continuing personal protective preventative measures, including vaccination, wearing a face covering, social distancing and practicing hand hygiene.
- Students or employees who need a disability accommodation due to health-related concerns should complete the applicable Accommodation Request Procedure. Requests are reviewed confidentially on a case-by-case basis by the Office of Disability Resources.
- Employees with general questions or concerns, should speak first with their supervisor, and if needed, HR.
Is App State requiring students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19?
No. However, App State is strongly encouraging all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated.
- All faculty, staff and students should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from contracting the virus and the only way to support the level of community vaccination necessary to end the pandemic and allow all of us to safely return to the lifestyles that we enjoyed pre-COVID-19.
- Across the country, institutions of higher education are examining the emerging issue of COVID-19 vaccination requirements. As a state government entity, App State cannot unilaterally mandate vaccines for employees or students.
- We have no information indicating that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandated by federal or state public health officials.
Can I continue to work or teach remotely and/or authorize employees to do so?
All employees should be prepared to return to their pre-pandemic work arrangements.
- As we reach a point where operational and staffing decisions are no longer driven by a pandemic response, decisions regarding flexible work schedules, including teleworking arrangements, will again become case-by-case management decisions, based on a number of considerations such as operational needs, job duties, work performance, IT security, etc., as they were prior to the pandemic.
- The Office of Human Resources is working to develop and implement a campus policy for flexible work arrangements. This policy will comply with guidelines in the new UNC System Regulation on Flexible Work Arrangements and Remote Work. More information will be shared soon.
Should I ask my employees or students if they have been vaccinated?
No, however students and employees may choose to disclose vaccination status voluntarily.
- Supervisors should not ask their employees, and faculty and staff should not ask students whether or not they have been vaccinated.
- More information about how students and employees can volunteer their vaccination status will be shared over the summer.
- Asking employees or students about their vaccination status could unintentionally elicit disclosures of protected information.
- Treating employees or students disparately based on vaccination status could unintentionally be discriminatory.
Will required COVID-19 testing be in place for students who live in residence halls?
This decision has not yet been made, but it will be made in accordance with the prevailing public health guidance.
- Students who live in our residence halls are required to follow housing policies, which may include routine COVID-19 testing through random surveillance testing.
- The university will continue wastewater testing for residence halls, which helps us detect positive cases early, respond quickly and further refine our targeted testing strategy as needed.
- Students who volunteer full COVID-19 vaccination status may opt out of some COVID-19 surveillance testing. More information about how students can volunteer their vaccination status will be shared over the summer.
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. 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.
Self-reporting of COVID-19 tests
Students and employees continue to be required to self-report COVID-19 tests and results and/or if they have been instructed to quarantine by public health. Visit the university’s Reporting COVID-19 Cases page for more information..