16 App State subcontracted workers test positive for COVID-19

Emily Broyles, Reporter

AppHealthCare confirmed to university leadership that 16 subcontracted workers who are not Watauga County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent to students Thursday. 

One employee tested positive after AppHealthCare identified “a small number of” university employees with potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. Others identified tested negative. The cases pose no direct risk to the university community. 

The contractor has thoroughly cleaned the job site and workers are to remain off campus until cleared by public health, according to the university’s email. 

“When App State learned of self-reported cases through one of our contractors, we engaged with the contractor and AppHealthCare to ensure access to testing was available to all members of the work crew,” App State said in an email. “The university is implementing enhanced precautionary measures which require all subcontracted workers to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance.”

Construction projects remain on schedule, according to the university.