Appalachian StateCoronavirus/COVID-19News

Seven new active COVID-19 clusters at Appalachian State, new cases associated with football team

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Last Updated on October 1, 2020 11:49 pm

Appalachian State University and Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) are working closely together to investigate and respond to seven new active clusters of confirmed COVID-19. A cluster is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.

In these clusters, currently, there are:

  • 5 cases in White residence hall. Five are recovering in active isolation and zero are past the isolation stage.
  • 6 cases in Eggers residence hall. Six are recovering in active isolation and zero are past the isolation stage.
  • 5 cases in Summit residence hall. Four are recovering in active isolation and one is past the isolation stage.
  • 5 cases in the Living Learning Center residence hall. Four are recovering in active isolation and one is past the isolation stage.
  • 5 cases associated with the App State volleyball team. Four are recovering in active isolation and one is past the isolation stage.
  • 8 cases associated with the Kappa Alpha fraternity. Five are recovering in active isolation and three are past the isolation stage.
  • 14 cases associated with the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Seven are recovering in active isolation and seven are past the isolation stage.

Additionally, there are 19 new positive cases associated with the active App State football team cluster: eight staff and 11 students. The App State-Louisiana football game will not be played on Oct. 7. The two schools are working together with the Sun Belt office to find a date to reschedule the game later this year.

AppHealthCare and App State have been providing support to the students and staff and have been working with them to continue to identify close contacts.

Public health staff are identifying and reaching out to all identified close contacts of those who have tested positive. A close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes. 

App State will have a pop-up testing event this Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Rivers Street Parking Deck from noon-5 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can walk up or drive up for a free COVID-19 test. No appointments are required, but you will be asked to show your AppCard. These free pop up testing events will take place every Wednesday and Saturday in October. AppHealthCare and App State encourage members of the university community to take advantage of these testing opportunities. The more information we have, the better we are able to respond to active cases and help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

It is important to note that in some instances, the definition of a cluster is not met until after a number of the cases in the clusters are no longer active. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including the number of cases identified in a 14-day time period, contact tracing to identify and determine plausible epidemiologic linkage, and COVID testing and results. Responding to calls and inquiries from public health officials who are tracing close contacts is extremely important for a rapid response from AppHealthCare and App State.

AppHealthCare has been working closely with App State throughout the COVID-19 response, and continues to provide public health recommendations and guidance for infection and virus transmission prevention. AppHealthCare will closely monitor the active cases and continue to conduct response testing in coordination with App State. 

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