BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) - Monday was the first official move-in day for thousands of students at Appalachian State University in Boone, but this time it’s very different than in past years.
COVID-19 protocols are in place, and the school says it is doing what it can to keep students safe while they learn.
“Yeah, absolutely, but we’ve been pretty happy with the guidelines that Appalachian has put out, but yeah, definitely concerns,” said Eric Taylor, the parent of a freshman from Winston-Salem, NC.
According to an update from the school, App State staff and faculty have been working steadily to prepare, in accordance with UNC System expectations and its educational mission, to return students, faculty and staff to campus for the fall semester.
“I’ll have mainly online classes and a couple face-to-face, mostly online,” said Grant Lewis from Charlotte. “I’m a little anxious, but excited to be at App you know, I’m very excited to be here, it’s my top school, so I’m really excited about it.”
“I am proud of the ways our campus community has already shown its commitment to work together to keep everyone as safe as possible,” said Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “Leaders from Appalachian’s fraternities and sororities recently issued a joint statement — which you can read here — with guidelines and actions for the safety of students and others in the community who are returning to campus. Our Student Government Association is working with University Communications on an App State Share the Love public health education campaign. We applaud the proactive approaches of these and other student leaders.”
Beginning Monday, students, faculty and staff will be expected to self-administer a daily health check for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus via a new tool developed and maintained by the university’s Information Technology Services.
Masks are required to be worn around campus and in the classrooms. Almost 200 cameras for online learning are being installed in classrooms, hand sanitizing stations are in every building, an online medical check system is being set up.
On-campus residential students can receive a free COVID-19 test prior to the start of the fall semester at a “pop-up” testing event which will be held Aug. 10-15 outside the Holmes Convocation Center.
App State faculty staff and students can be tested at any of the AppHealthCare clinic locations Monday-Friday. Appointments are required. AppHealthCare will serve anyone, regardless of ability to pay.
In addition, the school says that heating and air systems are being optimized to provide the greatest possible fresh air exchange. For buildings with central HVAC systems, fresh air exchange will occur 4-6 times per hour.