By Nathan Ham
Appalachian State University is reporting 202 students, employees, and contractors that have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 27. Despite rumors of moving all classes to online instruction, the campus is still continuing with in-person classes as of Wednesday. At this time there were 41 active cases on campus.
“The decision to welcome students back to campus was guided not only by our desire to give students the Appalachian Experience they hoped for but also by recommendations from public health officials and the UNC System,” said Appalachian State Chancellor, Dr. Sheri Everts. “Across the nation, the operations of colleges and universities face daily uncertainties. These first few days are critical in ensuring we are able to flatten App State’s curve. We must all be diligent following the 3Ws, and limiting social gatherings to small numbers.”
UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, East Carolina, and Charlotte have already moved their classes to online only for the time being. Chapel Hill was the first university in the UNC system to return to online-only classes. Over 200 students have already tested positive for the coronavirus since classes resumed. NC State is the most recent university to make the decision to return to an online-only format. As of now, students are still allowed to continue living on campus, however, the university is encouraging them to return home.
Appalachian State, UNC, ECU, and NC State have all dealt with COVID-19 clusters within their athletic programs. All four athletic departments have put temporary holds on practices at some point over the last month.
Along with App State, both UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro are still continuing with in-person classes as of August 26. Several classes are still being taken online as students and professors are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and want to limit their time on campus.
Appalachian updated its 2020-21 academic calendar and according to the update, Spring Break that was originally scheduled for March 8-12 has been canceled. Classes will be held that week instead. Classes for the spring semester are scheduled to end on April 28.