App State students, Boone stand at roughly 50% vaccination rate

Roughly+47%25+of+App+State+students+and+85%25+of+App+State+employees+are+fully+vaccinated+against+COVID-19.+

Jesse Barber

Roughly 47% of App State students and 85% of App State employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Jake Markland, News Editor

At least 47% of students and 85% of employees at App State are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the university’s update Friday.  

These preliminary numbers come after one week of in-person classes and two days after the Watauga County Medical Center opened a third COVID-19 isolation unit to accommodate increasing hospitalization rates, according to Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

This is good news, but we must do better,” said Chancellor Sheri Everts in the update. 

In all of Watauga County, 53% of residents are fully or partially vaccinated, according to the Aug. 20 AppHealthCare situation update. In North Carolina, 48% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Students, faculty and staff should have submitted their COVID-19 vaccination by the first day of classes Aug. 16. Anyone who is unvaccinated is required to participate in randomized testing. Students and employees will be contacted via email if they are selected for randomized testing. 

Everts emphasized the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, stating those who are unvaccinated are 400% more likely to get COVID-19, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

University health services are still providing vaccines for members of the App State and Boone communities, including booster doses. 

Targeted testing is underway, and large group testing at App State will begin next week, Everts said. The university COVID-19 dashboard will launch Aug. 23. 

I cannot overstate the importance of becoming fully vaccinated,” Everts said.