App State announces mask, vaccine guidance for fall 2021

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Hollie Moore, Reporter

App State announced this morning new, revised protocols for the upcoming fall semester requiring on campus students to submit their vaccine status and suggesting all other Mountaineers do as well. 

Vaccinations are strongly recommended but will not be required for students to return to campus. The university asked in a July 29 COVID-19 update that all students and staff submit their vaccine status. 

Students living on campus are required to submit their vaccine status via their MedPortal account prior to move-in, which takes place the week of Aug. 9. Students not fully vaccinated by move-in must prove negative COVID-19 test results and will be subject to regular testing. The university stated students should receive more information regarding move-in soon.

Students living off campus are also asked to submit their vaccination status on their MedPortal accounts. Faculty and staff will submit their status through a COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation form.

“While we cannot require it, we want every student, faculty and staff member to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” Chancellor Everts said at the June 18 board of trustees meeting. “We continue to emphasize the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine in getting back to the people, places and activities we love, and we are proud to be part of North Carolina’s vaccination efforts.”

Mountaineers who are vaccinated will have slim restrictions. Masks are still mandatory when at the Student Health Services or health care centers and any child care center or summer camps with minors no matter vaccination status. Students who choose not to be vaccinated will be expected to wear face coverings in all indoor settings.

App State has administered over 4,625 vaccines, taking part in the 47% of Watauga County being vaccinated, according to the July 2 email from the school. 

Everts announced in her most recent email that she and East Carolina University chancellor, Philip Rogers, will be participating in a competition on who can vaccinate the most students before the schools face off at the Sept. 2 football game at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Cleaning procedures will remain as they were in the previous academic year along with continued availability of vaccine clinics for App State students and staff.

Campus facilities have also removed or replaced signs related to COVID-19, no additional signage will be posted. 

App State will host a Town Hall Meeting Aug. 3 from 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union to address additional concerns.