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Student Affairs COVID-19 Response.

Spring 2021 Updates

Here are the latest updates regarding on-campus housing for Spring 2021 (this page was last updated on April 7, 2021):

Residence halls are currently at 61% capacity as part of a COVID-19 de-densification strategy by the University. To ensure the health and safety of the residential community, University Housing also has intensified cleaning and other safety measures.

In this reduced density, the University's goal is to keep students in their assigned communities for mental wellbeing and to limit potential spread of COVID-19. Not all of the remaining spaces are available to students to use as single rooms for a number of reasons, including: completed ADA accommodations, floors without RA staff for the spring semester, gender distribution and equal access to single rooms.

For students who want a guarantee that they will not have a roommate for the remainder of the spring semester, the private room buyout option remains open with billing pro-rated for the length of time used.

Move-In Process & Timeline:
  • Move-In appointments for Spring 2021 are now January 28 - January 31 between 8am and 4pm.
  • Please plan to arrive within the two-hour window beginning at the time listed in your appointment time to move in, complete the check-in process, and get your room key at your residence hall front desk. Students will not be able to check in outside of their move-in time. Please note that parking and traffic rules remain in effect. Students may not park in loading and unloading zones unless they are actively unloading, and parking is never allowed on Stadium Drive (including for loading or unloading).
Additional Move-In Notes:
  • Students were pre-assigned a move-in appointment by University Housing. If this pre-assignment works for you, you can plan to arrive on that day/time to check-in to your residence hall and retrieve your key at that front desk.
  • If the pre-assignment does not work for you, all students will be able to update their pre-assigned appointments as needed January 12 - January 20. To update your move-in appointment, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to the University Housing Portal, click on the Forms tab, and select January 2021 Move-In Appointments.
  2. On the Appointments page, click “cancel” under 2021 January Move-In Appointments. Choose your residence hall from the drop-down menu — you should then see a calendar of available appointments.
  3. Click on your preferred available appointment time.
  4. Hit “Save and Continue” at the bottom of the page or it will not confirm! If there is not a move-in appointment available at the time and date you want to arrive, you will need to change your travel plans accordingly. Important: You will only be issued your room key after meeting the re-entry COVID-19 testing requirement and arriving on your scheduled move-in date/time. See the section below titled COVID-19 Re-Entry Testing for more information about the testing requirement.
  • If you have been approved for early arrival, your appointment will be pre-scheduled for you based on your approved early arrival time.
  • If you are not moving into your residence hall prior to the first day of in-person classes on Feb. 1, call the Resident Assistant on duty for your hall for assistance with your check in. You are still required to submit your COVID testing documentation in the 5-day window prior to your arrival.
  • Bring only those belongings that are essential for the semester. Depending upon emerging public health needs, residents may be required to relocate permanently to another room/building on relatively short notice.
  • We are unable to accommodate room or roommate change requests at this time. Any room changes for the spring semester can only be initiated by University Housing.
  • Students are allowed only one Move-In helper for their return to campus. Students returning to the same room as the lived in the fall are expected to not need additional assistance for their return.
  • You will be issued your room key after meeting the the re-entry COVID-19 testing requirement and arriving on your scheduled move-in date/time.
Housing and Dining Rates for Spring 2021:
  • Housing fees will be prorated according to when students choose to move in.
  • Meal plan refunds will be prorated based on the first date students are eligible to return to campus for Spring 2021 semester. Refunds will be processed after move-in. If you have questions about meal plans, please contact Campus Dining at
COVID-19 Re-Entry Testing:

Students who live in campus residence halls are required to submit a negative PCR (molecular) or antigen (rapid) COVID-19 test into their MedPortal account before returning to campus. This COVID-19 test should be conducted within 7 days (168 hours) prior to arrival on campus and have a negative result.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 between Oct. 28, 2020 - January 28, 2021, you can upload a copy of your positive test results or formal notification from the local public authority managing your case in place of a negative COVID-19 test. All dates must be readable and clear.

Additionally, all students will be required to complete another COVID-19 test conducted on campus by Mako Labs.  The follow up testing date corresponds to each student’s move-in date and is listed in the table below.  Exact times and location of testing will be provided in separate communications from Wellness and Prevention Services.

Please note that we are closely monitoring COVID-19 trends. Please continue to regularly check your email for any changes to the schedule below:

If you are moving in on: Your negative COVID-19 test results must be posted to MedPortal: On-campus follow-up test date
January 28 Between January 21 - January 28 February 1
January 29 Between January 22 - January 29 February 3
January 30 Between January 23 - January 30 February 6
January 31 Between January 24 - January 31 February 6
  • Where to get tested: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) maintains a list of testing sites , including no-cost testing events, in the State of North Carolina. If you have trouble finding a testing site near you, please contact Appalachian State University's Wellness and Prevention Services . They will assist you in connecting with testing resources prior to your arrival on campus.
  • Cost of testing: The cost of COVID-19 testing varies by provider and insurance plan. Student Blue Insurance coverst the required re-entry COVID-19 testing with no co-pay. If you cannot afford a test, be sure to check the NCDHHS list of no-cost testing events. Contact Appalachian's Wellness and Prevention Services if you need additional assistance.
  • Testing Compliance: It is University policy that you must submit your negative COVID-19 test results in order to live in a University residence hall. If you fail to comply with this testing requirement and are not allowed to move in, you will still be responsible for payment of your spring housing bill in full unless you withdraw from the university or received an approved exemption.
  • Further Questions? Contact Appalachian's Wellness and Prevention Services
Additional COVID-19 Policy Information:
COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

Periodically throughout the semester, the University will require students living in residence halls to have additional COVID-19 tests. Students will be notified about dates/times in advance and the cost for these tests will be covered by the University.

Isolation and Quarantine Requirements

Because you will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result prior to moving into your residence hall, you will not be required to quarantine upon your return to the University. It is possible, however, that you may be instructed at some time during the spring semester to quarantine or isolate by University or Watauga County officials as a result of contact tracing or surveillance testing. In those circumstances, you will be required to relocate to the isolation/quarantine facilities retained by the University, and you will be assigned a case manager from the Office of the Dean of Students.

The University has a designated team of staff that coordinate with and support students, faculty, and staff under isolation/quarantine. When a student is in isolation or quarantine, the student's case manager will check in with them periodically throughout their quarantine or isolation in order to provide support and resources. Students are encouraged to contact their case manager should they need anything while in isolation or quarantine.

Continuation of Facecovering and Visitation Policies

Students are required to wear a face covering in all residence hall locations except while in their assigned room or suite. Visitors are prohibited in residence halls for the Spring 2021 semester. Learn more on the Housing Policies website under "Student Behavior."

As the semester draws to a close and students prepare for final exams, those who live on campus will also need to start thinking about moving out of their residence hall room. Here are a few things residents should be thinking about as they plan to return home for the summer:

  • 24 hour Quiet Hours start Wednesday, April 28, at 10 pm and will continue until the last resident leaves the hall. All common area building spaces will be designated as quiet study spaces during finals. Quiet Hours mean that no noise should be heard outside resident doors 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
  • Residents must leave no later than 24 hours after the completion of their last final exam.
  • All residence halls will close by 12 noon on Friday, May 7.
  • Residents must move completely out of their residence hall room. They will be allowed one move-out helper in the building at a time during move out.
  • Residents must sign up for a checkout time with their Resident Assistant (RA) by April 29. Checkout appointments will be available from April 23 - May 7. There will be no express checkouts. If students do not check out with an RA, they will be charged an improper checkout fee of $50.
  • The "Don't Throw It Away" program will not be operating this year due to COVID-19.

University Housing encourages residents to take the following steps for a successful checkout:

  • Before the appointment time:
    • Remove all belongings from the room.
    • Clean the room so that it looks like it did on move-in day. Do not leave trash and recyclables in the hallways, stairwells, etc. All trash needs to go outside of the building into the proper receptacles.
  • At the appointment time:
    • Residents must be ready and on time for their checkout.
    • Final damages and charges will be determined by a hall supervisor.
    • Damages will be photographed.
    • Residents will turn in their key.

As we work to limit opportunities for exposure to COVID-19 for our students, we have made the difficult decision to limit the number of students who live in residence halls. Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to offer on-campus housing for new students for the Spring 2021 semester.

Because you have not yet signed a housing contract, you have three options for the Spring 2021 semester:

  1. Stay in your home community and register for a fully online course schedule.
  2. Locate housing off campus. For more information, visit our Off-Campus Housing Student Services website .
  3. Defer enrollment until Fall 2021. If you wish to discuss this option, email your Admissions counselor and they will walk you through the process.

Housing contracts for Fall 2020 that were signed last spring remain unchanged. If you are a returning student who selected a space through the room selection process last spring and signed a Residence Hall License Contract, your are contractually obligated to live on campus for the duration of the academic year (both Fall and Spring semesters).

As we work to limit opportunities for exposure to COVID-19 for our students, we have made the difficult decision to limit the number of students who live in residence halls. Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to offer those students who exempted from living on campus in the Fall 2020 on-campus housing for the Spring 2021 semester.

Continuing students who are enrolled in all online classes for the Fall 2020 semester and will be living with their parents/guardians at their permanent address for the term who wish to request an exemption from the housing requirement must complete the Housing Exemption request and submit it to University Housing.

Information regarding exemptions for continuing students can be found on the Housing Exemption page.

If you have a housing accommodation request on the bassis of disability, you must complete the requesting of an accommodation process with the Office of Disability Resources , which is the designated office to determine reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must:

  • Include sufficient documentation meeting University guidelines.
  • Address the impact of the disability supporting the need for housing accommodations.

Requests should be submitted as soon as possible in order to ensure availability and options. This includes requests for single-room accommodations for students with underlying conditions.

Information regarding housing accommodations can be found on the Housing Accommodations page.

University Housing has developed detailed policies and procedures that will ensure physical distancing, intensified cleaning and other safety measures in the residence halls. Detailed information regarding these polices and procedures can be found on the Residence Hall Safety Precautions page.

The residence hall guest and visitation policy has been revised for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19. The new policy will be a multi-step approach based on guidance from the UNC System and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Information regarding the updated guest and visitation policies can be found on the Housing Policies page under "Student Behavior".

For billing and refund information, please visit the Student Accounts website.