University announces COVID-19 cluster in residence hall

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Mickey Hutchings

The view of Thunder Hill Hall from its patio.

Mickey Hutchings, Managing Editor

A cluster of seven COVID-19 cases among students living in Thunder Hill Residence Hall was identified by App State, according to an email sent to students Thursday afternoon.

A cluster is defined as “a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases,” according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Two of the seven students are currently in isolation and the others are “past the isolation stage,” said the university in a campus-wide email. 

This is the third cluster App State has announced this semester, and the first identified in a residence hall. The first two were related to the wrestling and football teams. 

The cluster was “identified and confirmed” by App State and AppHealthCare within a 14-day period.

Those infected have been tested several times at “a variety of” locations in the past 14 days, according to the university. 

Public health staff have notified close contacts of those who tested positive.

A close contact is defined as someone who has been within six feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes. 

The email stated that AppHealthCare will monitor the active cases and conduct response testing in collaboration with the university. 

Public health staff “highly encourages you” to be tested for COVID-19 if you live in Thunder Hill Residence Hall.

App State is hosting pop-up testing events every Saturday in September and October in the Rivers Street Parking Deck from noon to 5 p.m. Tests are also available to students at Student Health Services and AppHealthCare via appointment.