By Nathan Ham
As part of classes resuming and students returning to campus for the fall semester, Appalachian State University will be requiring students, faculty, and staff members to administer daily health checks on their mobile devices or computers to receive a “passport” to be on campus for that day.
According to the university, each person will fill out a simple questionnaire about how they are feeling and if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. If the individual is not sick, they will receive a passport for that date that will last through midnight of that day to have access to places on campus. If the person answers that they may have COVID-19 symptoms, they will not be cleared to access campus and will be asked to stay home or seek medical attention.
Students may be asked to show their passports to their instructor to get into class and all faculty and staff members may be asked to show their passports to their supervisors when entering a classroom, workplace, or campus facility. The passport can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet or printed off to be carried at all times for that day.
As for any data kept from the passport system, the university says “data are de-identified and aggregated and stored securely in Banner. Access is limited, and authorized by Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management.”
Classes at Appalachian State begin on Monday, however, there are already 32 active COVID-19 cases on campus as of Friday with 22 students and 10 employees currently in isolation, according to data provided by the university.
As a reminder, the two-day Fall Break will be eliminated in order to hold the last day of classes on Nov. 24. The final exam period will remain unchanged. All final exams for Fall 2020 will be held online, with the exception of courses that require clinical or lab-based assessments.