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AppHealthCare Has Informed App State that 16 Subcontracted Workers Have Tested Positive

Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) has informed Appalachian State University leadership that it has confirmed 16 subcontracted workers who are non-Watauga County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

AppHealthCare identified a small number of university employees with potential exposure. One tested positive – this case was reported by the university and AppHealthCare on May 7. The others have tested negative. There is no direct risk to the university community related to these cases. The contractor has engaged in a thorough cleaning at the job site and workers will remain off campus until cleared by public health to return.

When App State learned of self-reported cases through one of our contractors, we engaged with the contractor and AppHealthCare to ensure access to testing was available to all members of the work crew.

The university is implementing enhanced precautionary measures which require all subcontracted workers to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance.

University employees currently working on campus must wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance.

All construction projects remain on schedule.

We continue to hear of self-reported, confirmed cases that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State. As we learn of these cases, we are coordinating with local public health agencies to the greatest extent possible, in consultation with the North Carolina Division of Public Health Communicable Disease team. AppHealthCare continues to be a valuable university partner, helping verify tests that may have been performed in other counties. App State will continue to keep the university community informed about verified, positive cases.

Students who are concerned about symptoms should call Student Health Services at 828-262-3100 and ask to speak with a nurse. Faculty or staff who have concerns about students or their own health diagnoses should reach out to safety@appstate.edu.

It is important to rely on official sources of information for facts about COVID-19, not share unconfirmed information, and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your coughs and sneezes, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

The university has a dedicated website about its response to COVID-19.

App State and AppHealthCare will work together to continue monitoring COVID-19 at the university and in our community and to keep the public informed.