Sanford Hall exterior

Crews continue work on the exterior of Sanford Hall in February.

BOONE — Appalachian State announced on May 14 that 16 subcontracted workers for a campus construction project have tested positive for COVID-19. The workers are not Watauga County residents.

The university was informed of the cases by AppHealthCare, it said in an email to students.

AppHealthCare identified a small number of university employees with potential exposure, App State said in the email, and one tested positive – this case was reported by the university and AppHealthCare on May 7 — while the others tested negative.

“There is no direct risk to the university community related to these cases,” the university said.

App State also said the contractor has “engaged in a thorough cleaning at the job site and the 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,” App State said in the email.

The university has also implemented enhanced precautionary measures that require all subcontracted workers to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance. University employees currently working on campus also must wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance.

“We continue to hear of self-reported, confirmed cases that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State,” the university said. “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.

All construction projects remain on schedule, according to the email.

For more information about Appalachian State’s response to COVID-19, visit www.appstate.edu/go/coronavirus.

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