BOONE, N.C. — It takes all of us to slow the spread of COVID-19. This is the core message of Appalachian State University and AppHealthCare’s #ShowYourLove public health campaign, which kicked off this summer across the High Country and encourages residents and visitors to follow the 3Ws: wear a face covering, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
“We are charting new territory, for certain,” said Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts. “I am proud of the ways our campus community has shown its commitment to work together to keep everyone as safe as possible, and I continue to be inspired each day by our faculty, staff and students.”
To promote awareness and adoption of the 3Ws in the local community and on Appalachian’s campus, Appalachian and AppHealthCare created billboards, avenue banners, AppalCART ads, newspaper ads, and local radio and TV spots featuring Appalachian students and Everts.
In a statement earlier this summer, AppHealthCare Health Director Jennifer Greene said, “Now more than ever, we must see how connected we all are and realize we are stronger together. This campaign brings together many partnerships and demonstrates the collective impact we can have together, while leading with kindness for others.”
On Appalachian’s campus, each student, faculty and staff member received three free reusable face coverings, with extras available for those who found themselves without while on campus.
A student survey in July of attitudes regarding safety practices during COVID-19 indicates students are “very willing” to wear face coverings and engage in safe hygiene practices.
Appalachian’s Student Government Association (SGA) has shared public health messages on social media. Also, prior to the start of the academic year, the presidents of Appalachian’s fraternity and sorority councils developed safety guidelines for their organizations, which included strict adherence to group sizes for gatherings.
The university also hired students to help serve as wellness ambassadors to promote positive behaviors across campus.
All these efforts appear to be effective. Of University of North Carolina System schools, Appalachian is the largest — in terms of undergraduate student population — that is still conducting in-person classes.
SGA President Michael Davis, a senior political science major from Wilkesboro, said, “Most of us are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, and I personally want to commend all those in the Appalachian Community who are working hard to follow the safety precautions.”
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.