Chancellor announces changes to housing contracts, COVID-19 testing at apartment complexes

Chancellor+Sheri+Everts+addressing+faculty+at+a+special+faculty+senate+meeting+called+to+discuss+the+stagnation+of+salaries+in+February+2018.+

Anna Muckenfuss

Chancellor Sheri Everts addressing faculty at a special faculty senate meeting called to discuss the stagnation of salaries in February 2018.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Multimedia Editor

Chancellor Sheri Everts’ email sent last Thursday to the App State community detailed several changes to  the university’s COVID-19 response. Among these are news for those living on and off-campus, and updates on Mountaineer football.

On-Campus Living

All freshmen are required to live in residence halls, but now, students living on-campus have the ability to opt-out of their housing contracts and make their own living arrangements. This comes after the rise in reported clusters in dorms, such as Thunder Hill, White and Eggers.

Students in halls with active clusters will now also be required to take a COVID-19 test.

Everts also shared there are no confirmed cases linked to on-campus classroom transmission. 

Football

Practice for players has been suspended until further notice and the Oct. 14 game against Georgia Southern is postponed. 

The email noted four new cases in the active football team cluster. Cases in this cluster  are down from 25 last Friday to 17 on Thursday.

Off-Campus Living

Everts announced that 70% of active cases are in students living off-campus. In partnership with AppHealthCare, free testing is being implemented at apartment complexes with the largest student populations. 

Jennifer Greene, health director at AppHealthCare, said AppHealthCare is working on logistics and speaking to property managers about complex testing

“You know, obviously, the people who are in a residence hall where there’s a cluster, they can go get tested at one of the pop-up sites that’s offered routinely or it’s student health,” Greene said. “But we want to also make sure there’s some concentrated testing there as well. And we’ll be working with campus to organize that.”

Everts also shared testing data for the week of Oct. 5. The percentages represent the number of positive tests of all tests conducted on a given day. 

Oct. 5: 665 tests with 37 positive results: 5.6% positivity rate

Oct. 6: 161 tests with 10 positive results: 6.2% positivity rate

Oct. 7: 979 tests with 32 positive results: 3.4% positivity rate

Week to date: 1,805 tests with 79 positive results: 4.4% positivity rate

Free weekly pop-up testing on campus takes place Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in the Rivers Street Parking Deck. Students concerned about possible symptoms should contact Student Health Services at 828-262-3100. Faculty and staff can contact AppHealthCare at 828-795-1970.