COVID-19 Response Updates

 

External Event Limitations

Due to increased transmission of COVID-19 in Avery County, the state of North Carolina, and many other areas in the Southeast, the college will limit gatherings of outside groups on campus. Attendance at all college-sponsored events, including theatre performances and athletic competitions, is limited to students, faculty, and staff. College events hosted off campus will be postponed or moved to campus locations with the same participant restrictions.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Spring 2022

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. This approval, otherwise known as full licensure, replaces the previously designated emergency use authorization (EUA) granted at the end of last year. Other vaccines, including Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, are expected to receive full licensure later this fall. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), widespread vaccination is necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including the Delta variant.

In keeping with previous announcements about institutional policy upon full FDA approval, Lees-McRae will require all main campus students—residential and commuter—to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before returning to campus for the Spring 2022 semester. Students may not move back into residence halls or attend classes or other activities on campus prior to full vaccination (two weeks after single-shot vaccine or two weeks after second dose of a two-shot vaccine).

Students attending a college or university in the state of North Carolina are required to receive immunizations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement is subject to the same exemptions as the other immunizations required by the state.

The college strongly encourages students to plan for and receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina or visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states. Lees-McRae will also host vaccination clinics on campus throughout the Fall semester. Registration for these clinics will be available at a later date.

If you have already been vaccinated, please use the below form to submit proof of completion:

COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation >>

With questions about vaccinations or exemptions pursuant to North Carolina immunization requirements, email studentaffairs@lmc.edu.

 

Moderate Transmission

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently classified Avery County and all surrounding counties with increased levels of community spread of COVID-19. As such, the college has moved internal levels from Low to Moderate Transmission following published Operational Guidance and Response procedures.

The elimination of masking and distancing protocols in classrooms and residence halls will require sustained levels of lower transmission and notable COVID-19 immunity through vaccination. Although a significant number of cases has not yet been documented on campus, all members of the Lees-McRae community should remain vigilant with health and safety protocols:

  • Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors must wear face coverings indoors. This applies to all campus facilities, including residence hall common spaces, classrooms, and laboratories.
    • Face coverings may be removed when individuals are actively eating or drinking.
    • Face coverings may be removed by students in their own residence hall rooms.
    • Face coverings may be removed by employees when alone in individual offices with the door closed.
  • Protocols remain in effect in all dining areas. Individuals in these areas may remove face coverings while actively eating or drinking. Those eating in the tent on Tate Lawn should finish their meal as quickly as possible and then replace their face covering before exiting the area.
  • Student-athletes and those participating in club sports should engage in enhanced protocols during practice, conditioning, and competition. Student-athletes will receive additional guidelines and measures from their coaches and athletic trainers.
  • Students and employees should limit personal contact as much as possible even while wearing a face covering. Employees are encouraged to make use of technology to limit the size and frequency of in-person meetings.
  • Students and employees should limit travel to and from campus to the start and end of each day or other essential needs.
  • All visitors and vendors must sign in upon campus arrival at the Office of Campus Safety and Security located in the Robb Center. Prospective student applicants and their families may check in at the Office of Admissions in the Chaffee Center.

Although these enhanced protocols and strict hygiene measures will help protect the community, widespread vaccination is still the most critical tool to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The college strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina or visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states.

As previously announced, all main campus students must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination once the vaccine is granted full licensure from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Students attending a college or university in the state of North Carolina are required to receive immunizations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement is subject to the same exemptions as the other immunizations required by the state.

If you have already been vaccinated, please use the below form to submit proof of completion:

COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation >>


Frequently Asked Questions

How is COVID-19 transmission on campus monitored?
To determine the potential risks to campus, the college examines COVID-19 transmission across five different spectrums:

  1. Main Campus Infections – a measure of spread among the congregate population
  2. Contact Tracing – a measure of the origination of known cases
  3. Isolation/Quarantine Spaces – a measure of impacts to physical resources
  4. Faculty/Staff Cases – a measure of impacts to human resources
  5. Community Levels – a measure of impacts to community resources

Each component is scored individually on a scale of one (1) to four (4) and the average of those scores is used to gauge overall transmission severity.

How does the college respond to changing transmission levels?
Lees-McRae has published Operational Guidance and Response information to help inform potential changes to institutional and departmental operations. Alterations may occur at any time and may remain in effect indefinitely or for limited periods of time.

 

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Protocols

Lees-McRae continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, including the highly contagious Delta variant that has swept throughout much of the country. To help combat the continued spread of this virulent strain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance.

The CDC recommends the wearing of masks and face coverings indoors in locales of substantial or high transmission. According to the COVID-19 Data Tracker, Avery County is currently designated as an area of substantial transmission. Effective immediately, members of the college community—regardless of individual vaccination status—should abide by the following protocols:

  • Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors are expected to wear face coverings indoors. This applies to campus facilities, including common spaces, classrooms, and laboratories.
    • Face coverings may be removed when individuals are actively eating or drinking.
    • Face coverings may be removed by students in their own residence hall rooms.
    • Face coverings may be removed by employees when alone in individual offices with the door closed.
  • Student-athletes and those participating in club sports should engage in enhanced protocols during practice, conditioning, and competition. Student-athletes will receive additional guidelines and measures from their coaches and athletic trainers.
  • While indoor gathering guidelines have not changed, students and employees should limit personal contact as much as possible even while wearing a face covering.
  • All visitors and vendors must sign in upon campus arrival at the Office of Campus Safety and Security located in the Robb Center. Prospective student applicants and their families may check in at the Office of Admissions in the Chaffee Center.
    Note: Families and guests assisting with new and returning student move-in do not need to sign in but should wear face coverings while inside campus buildings.

Although these enhanced protocols and strict hygiene measures will help protect the community, widespread vaccination is still the most critical tool to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The college strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to plan for and receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina or visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states. The Avery County Health Department will host an on-campus vaccination on Friday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

REGISTER HERE

 As previously announced, all main campus students must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination once the vaccine is granted full licensure from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Students attending a college or university in the state of North Carolina are required to receive immunizations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement is subject to the same exemptions as the other immunizations required by the state.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination and Fall 2021 Protocols

Lees-McRae is actively planning for the safe return of students to Banner Elk. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), widespread vaccination is a critical tool to stop the spread of the coronavirus. For Fall 2021, the elimination of masking and distancing protocols in classrooms and residence halls will require our community to reach significant COVID-19 immunity by way of vaccination.

Students who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may resume normal campus activities that were otherwise halted or paused due to the pandemic. Those who are not vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering in the presence of others.

If you have already been vaccinated, please use the below form to submit proof of completion:

COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation


The college strongly encourages students to use the summer months to plan for and receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina, and visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states. The college will also host two vaccination clinics on campus—one on Tuesday, Aug. 10 (for fall sport student-athletes returning early for preseason) and an open clinic on Friday, Aug. 20. Registration for these clinics will be available at a later date.

As previously announced, all main campus students must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination once the vaccine is granted full licensure from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Students attending a college or university in the state of North Carolina are required to receive immunizations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement is subject to the same exemptions as the other immunizations required by the state.

 

Vax Up or Mask Up

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published revised COVID-19 guidance for colleges and universities. The recommendations include differentiated standards for campuses where everyone is vaccinated and campuses where everyone is not. Consistent with this new information, Lees-McRae is helping to promote the “Vax Up or Mask Up” campaign created by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

For the remainder of summer 2021, the college will enact revised protocols that clarify actions for fully vaccinated individuals vs. non-vaccinated individuals:

Fully Vaccinated Individuals
(Two weeks after single-shot vaccine or two weeks after second dose of a two-shot vaccine)

  • Not required to wear masks indoors
  • Not required to wear masks outdoors
  • May be required to wear masks when gathering in large groups or working in close contact with others

Non-vaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Individuals
(No vaccination or within two weeks of single-shot vaccine or either dose of two-shot vaccine)

  • Required to wear masks indoors
  • Required to wear masks outdoors
  • Required to wear masks in all settings, including gatherings in large groups or working in close contact with others

Even when not required to do so, those who are fully vaccinated may continue to wear masks per individual discretion. Lees-McRae employees are not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but are strongly encouraged to do so. All members of the college community should continue to practice established hygiene measures. 

 

Revised COVID-19 Policies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed growing evidence that fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to pass COVID-19 to others. As such, the CDC has revised public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. Following this new guidance, Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) have lifted some COVID-19 restrictions.

While state directives for face coverings have been eliminated in most settings, Lees-McRae expects students and employees to take steps to protect the health and safety of the community. Current face covering guidelines on campus include:

  • Students attending in-person classes or participating in other educational activities on campus, including clinical work at the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, are required to wear face coverings.
  • Faculty and staff who have been fully vaccinated (two weeks after receiving the single-shot vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of a two-shot vaccine) are not required to wear face coverings, but may choose to do so. Employees who are not vaccinated should wear face coverings in the presence of others.
  • Because the risk of transmission increases in populations of higher density, the college highly recommends wearing a face covering when members of the community gather in large groups, regardless of individual vaccination status.
  • Vendors and other visitors should wear masks when entering college buildings and facilities. All vendors and general visitors (including family and friends) must sign in at the Office of Campus Safety and Security located in the Robb Center. Prospective student applicants and their families may check in at the Office of Admissions in the Chaffee Center.
  • As previously announced, patrons of FORUM and the Lees-McRae Summer Theatre are still required to wear face coverings during performances. Please be advised that actors and other performers may or may not be wearing face coverings during the shows.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all members of the college community should continue to practice established hygiene measures.

 

Fall 2021 Student Vaccination Requirement

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), widespread vaccination is a critical tool to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may resume many of the normal activities that were otherwise halted or paused due to the pandemic.

As an additional measure to protect the campus community, Lees-McRae will require all main campus students to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination once the vaccine is granted full licensure from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Students attending a college or university in the state of North Carolina are required to receive immunizations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement is subject to the same exemptions as the other immunizations required by the state.

The college strongly encourages students to use the summer months to plan for and receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina, and visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states. After obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine, students may submit proof of completion online.

COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation


Even after vaccination, all members of the college community should continue to reduce personal contact and practice established hygiene measures including the wearing of facemasks. 

With questions about vaccinations or exemptions pursuant to North Carolina immunization requirements, please contact the Office of Health Services at healthservices@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The below includes additional information and details about the vaccination requirements.

  •  

    What types of vaccines are available?

    Due to the global pandemic, the FDA has approved COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen for emergency use. Health experts expect the FDA to grant full licensure in the coming months. All vaccines are safe and effective—the CDC does not recommend one over the others.
  •  

    How are the vaccines administered?

    You can receive your COVID-19 vaccine as a shot or series of shots by a licensed healthcare provider. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are administered as two shots scheduled weeks apart, and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is administered as one shot.
  •  

    Does the vaccine have side effects?

    You may experience some side effects—evidence that your body is building immunity—after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. The most commonly reported side effects are soreness and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, and mild flu-like symptoms including headache, chills, and tiredness. The symptoms might affect your daily routine, but they are short-lived usually lasting a matter of hours or up to a few days.
  •  

    Why are students required to receive the vaccination?

    Vaccination, especially in congregate settings like a college campus, is one of the most important steps we can take to stop the spread of COVID-19. By requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, the college can more quickly achieve community or herd immunity. This condition exists when a large enough percentage of a given population has received vaccination to make the spread of the disease unlikely.

    Upon achieving community immunity, the college will be able to resume many activities that were canceled or virtualized due to the pandemic.

  •  

    Where can I get the vaccination?

    You can find COVID-19 vaccine providers online. Visit the North Carolina Vaccine Finder for vaccination locations in North Carolina, and visit vaccinefinder.org for vaccination locations in other states. You should choose the location that is most convenient for you.
  •  

    How much does a vaccination cost?

    The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge to everyone living in the United States, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
  •  

    How do I document my vaccination?

    After obtaining your COVID-19 vaccine or if you have already done so, you may submit proof of completion online.

    COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation

  •  

    Am I vaccinated immediately after my shot?

    You are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the single-shot vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of a two-shot vaccine.
  •  

    I was previously diagnosed for COVID-19, do I need to receive the vaccination?

    Yes. Although rare, it is possible for you to contract COVID-19 more than once. According to health experts, the natural immunity that comes after recovering from the virus can decrease over time.
  •  

    What activities can I engage in after vaccination?

    After being fully vaccinated, you can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated individuals and with unvaccinated people from one other household. Fully vaccinated individuals who have been around someone who has COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or be tested unless you display symptoms.
  •  

    Are there exemptions to the vaccination requirements?

    Exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement are allowed consistent with the North Carolina immunization requirements for medical, religious, or personal reasons. If you have questions or need to provide evidence of eligibility for exemption, please contact the Office of Health Services at healthservices@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862.

 

COVID-19 Transmission Update

With decreases in COVID-19 exposures on campus and in the local community, Lees-McRae has changed its operational status from Moderate to Low Transmission.

Despite the change in transmission levels, modified operations remain in effect:

  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected to wear face coverings anytime they cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from others, including meetings in small offices. Face coverings may be removed while actively eating or drinking. Students may remove face coverings in their own residence hall rooms and employees may remove face coverings when they are alone in individual offices.
  • Health and wellness procedures remain in effect in all dining areas. Individuals in these areas may remove face coverings while actively eating or drinking, but should replace them when talking or meeting with others. Wily’s Bar & Grill will remain closed with Café After Hours selections available in MacDonald Dining Hall.
  • Students and employees should conduct a health self-assessment prior to the start of the workday, classes, or other educational activities on campus. Those who feel sick, should separate themselves from others and monitor for worsening symptoms until they have been cleared by a healthcare provider.
  • Student-athletes and those participating in club sports will receive information on changes to practices or competitions from coaches and/or athletic training staff.
  • Employees should conduct work within individual offices with doors closed to the greatest extent possible. Employees should make extensive use of technology to limit the size and frequency of in-person meetings.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all members of the college community should continue to reduce personal contact and practice established hygiene measures. Students, faculty, and staff should limit travel to and from campus to the start and end of each workday and other essential needs.

 

COVID-19 Testing Clinic

The college operates a COVID-19 surveillance-testing clinic for students, faculty, and staff at the athletic complex in the Haigler Athletic Center (7860 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk). Testing is available for individuals without symptoms—those who feel sick should separate from others and follow published protocols.

Register for an appointment


Frequently Asked Questions

The below includes additional information and details about the testing requirements and procedures.

  •  

    What kind of test is offered?

    The college has acquired the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Test, a 15-minute rapid antigen test with 97% accuracy.
  •  

    Where do I go for my test?

    All testing will occur at the athletic complex in the Haigler Athletic Center (7860 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk).
  •  

    What are the testing procedures?

    Participants should conduct a health assessment before entering the testing clinic. Those without symptoms should proceed to the clinic.

    Students who feel sick should separate themselves from others, contact a healthcare provider, and notify the Office of Health Services at healthservices@lmc.edu.

    Employees who feel sick should separate themselves from others, contact a healthcare provider, and notify a supervisor and the Office of Human Resources at furstm@lmc.edu or 828.898.8743.

  •  

    When will I get my results?

    You will receive your results at the testing clinic within 15 minutes.
  •  

    I have my results, what do I do now?

    If you receive a negative test result, you may return to normal activities on campus. If you receive positive test results, you will follow prescribed protocols for active isolation.
  •  

    I previously tested, should I be tested again?

    Additional testing is voluntary. The clinic is not available to anyone who feels sick or presenting symptoms of COVID-19.
  •  

    I was previously tested as a student-athlete, should I be tested again?

    No, the testing clinic is for students, faculty, and staff who are not being regularly tested as part of their participation on a team.

  

COVID-19 Transmission Update

Since the beginning of the spring semester, Lees-McRae has experienced a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as individuals in quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus. Students and employees should reference the COVID-19 dashboard for the current case count. The majority of the individuals are not presently on campus because they have chosen to complete their isolation or quarantine at home. A large number of those in quarantine are student-athletes who have been asked to do so out of an abundance of caution.

Despite the rise in cases, Lees-McRae remains in Moderate Transmission based on defined indicators. The college measures potential risks to campus, by quantifying COVID-19 transmission across five different spectrums:

  1. Main Campus Infections – a measure of spread among the congregate population
  2. Contact Tracing – a measure of the identifiable origination of known cases
  3. Isolation/Quarantine Spaces – a measure of impacts to physical resources
  4. Faculty/Staff Exposures – a measure of impacts to human resources
  5. Community Levels – a measure of impacts to community resources


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all members of the college community should continue to reduce personal contact and practice established hygiene measures. Students, faculty, and staff should limit travel to and from campus to the start and end of each workday and other essential needs.

 

Students and employees are expected to maintain strict adherence to additional health and wellness protocols for the spring semester:

  • Face coverings are to be worn at ALL times while on campus, including in all common spaces, learning spaces, and outdoors. Face coverings may be removed when you are actively eating or drinking. Students may remove face coverings in their own residence hall rooms and employees may remove face coverings when they are alone in individual offices with the door closed.
  • Students and employees should conduct a health self-assessment twice daily. Health assessments should occur prior to the start of the workday, classes, or other educational activities on campus and then again throughout the day. Those who feel sick, should separate themselves from others and monitor for worsening symptoms until they have been cleared by a healthcare provider.
  • Student-athletes and those participating in club sports should engage in enhanced protocols during practice, conditioning, and competition. Student-athletes will receive additional guidelines and measures from their coaches and athletic trainers.  
  • Employees should conduct work within individual offices with doors closed to the greatest extent possible. When appropriate, supervisors may adjust work locations or schedules to reduce density. Employees should make extensive use of technology to limit the size and frequency of in-person meetings.

  

Operational Changes

Wily’s Bar & Grill
Wily’s Bar & Grill will be used as a classroom for the Spring 2021 semester and will not be open for food and beverage service. MacDonald Dining Hall will be open late (Café After Hours) featuring Wily’s menu items. Café After Hours will offer a wide variety of options, daily specials, and combo meals for a meal swipe!

Café After Hours will be open:

  • Monday–Thursday, 8–10 p.m.
  • Friday, 7–9 p.m.
  • Saturday–Sunday, 2–8 p.m.

Shelton Learning Commons
In compliance with the modified Stay at Home Order for North Carolina, the Shelton Learning Commons will temporarily operate on restricted hours.

Current hours of operation:

  • Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 3–9:30 p.m.
UPDATE: Jan. 6, 2021 

 

Re-entry Testing for Main Campus Students
All main campus students—residents and commuters—are required to be tested for COVID-19 when returning to Banner Elk. Students may register for a test on Sunday, Jan. 10; Monday, Jan. 11; or Tuesday, Jan. 12. All testing will occur at the athletic complex in the Haigler Athletic Center.

Due to a significant winter storm forecasted for Friday, Jan. 8, all testing previously scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 9 has been canceled. Students with unique travel circumstances who require travel to Banner Elk on Saturday should register here. These students will be contacted with temporary housing information prior to testing.

To accommodate these changes, all main campus classes are canceled Monday, Jan. 11 and Tuesday, Jan. 12. Classes will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

With testing questions, please contact the Office of Health Services at healthservices@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862.


Frequently Asked Questions
The below includes additional information and details about the testing requirements and procedures.

  •  

    What kind of test is required?

    You are required to have a 15-minute rapid antigen test. The college has acquired the BinaxNOW Covid-19 Test, with 98% accuracy, through a partnership with the NCDHHS and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
  •  

    How do I register for a test?

    You can register for a test online here. Appointments are limited to four students every 15 minutes between 9 a.m.–9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10.
  •  

    Where do I go for my test?

    All testing will occur at the athletic complex in the Haigler Athletic Center (7860 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk). You must be tested before entering any other college facilities—do not return to your residence hall prior to the test.
  •  

    What are the testing procedures?

    When arriving at the testing clinic, you should park and remain in your vehicle until you are called by phone at your designated test time. After being called, proceed to the Haigler Athletic Center for your test following all entrance and exit signage.
  •  

    When will I get my results?

    After the test has been administered, you should return to your vehicle and await results by phone. You will receive your results within 15 minutes. You may not enter other campus facilities until you are cleared by college personnel.
  •  

    I have my results, what do I do now?

    If you receive a negative test result you will be cleared by college personnel. The Office of Student Affairs will turn on your key access and you may complete the move-in process.

    If you receive positive test results, you should return home for recovery and participate in classes remotely until Sunday, Jan. 24. Students should contact their healthcare provider for wellness guidance and any additional offsite testing. International students or those who live a considerable distance from Banner Elk will be housed in separate isolation space on campus until they are cleared.

  •  

    Can I be tested offsite or at home?

    Yes, you may be tested elsewhere and provide documentation of results to healthservices@lmc.edu. Tests must be administered January 1 or later at home or at other local locations. Students may not return to campus and use college facilities while waiting on test results.
  •  

    I was previously tested as an athlete, do I have to be tested again?

    No, you do no need to be tested again if you have already received a test(s) as part of your pre-season athletic requirements. Check with your coach for more specifics related to your team.
  •  

    I am experiencing symptoms, should I return to campus and be tested?

    No, do not return to campus if you feel sick. Contact your healthcare provider for information about care and offsite testing. Students should not travel to Banner Elk until cleared by a healthcare professional.
  •  

    I previously tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, do I have to be tested again?

    You do not need to be tested again if you have been positive for COVID-19 after October 1, 2020, but you must contact the office of health services at healthservices@lmc.edu and provide appropriate documentation.

    If you have been positive prior to October 1, then you must be tested again before entering other college facilities.

UPDATE: Nov. 16, 2020 


Effective Nov. 16, the following additional protocols are in place:

  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected to wear face coverings at all times while on campus, this includes all common spaces, learning spaces, and outdoors. Face coverings may be removed when you are actively eating or drinking. Students may remove face coverings in their own residence hall rooms and employees may remove face coverings when they are alone in individual offices with the door closed.
  • Health and wellness procedures remain in effect in all dining areas. Individuals in these areas may remove face coverings while actively eating or drinking, but should put them back on when talking or meeting with others in these spaces. Wily’s Bar & Grill will remain open for students, but is closed to the public.
  • Students and employees should conduct a health self-assessment twice daily. Health assessments should occur prior to the start of the workday, classes, or other educational activities on campus and then again throughout the day. Those who feel sick, should separate themselves from others and monitor for worsening symptoms until they have been cleared by a healthcare provider.
  • Employees should conduct work within individual offices with doors closed to the greatest extent possible. When appropriate, supervisors may adjust work locations or schedules to reduce density. Employees should make extensive use of technology to limit the size and frequency of in-person meetings.
  • No public visitors are permitted on campus and vendors must check-in and follow institutional health guidelines. Admission tours will continue as scheduled, but with limited access to facilities.
UPDATE: Nov. 6, 2020 


Flu Shot Requirements

All main campus students are required to receive a flu vaccine and provide documentation by Jan. 1, 2021. North Carolina law requires individuals attending a college or university in the state to receive certain immunizations. The additional flu immunization requirement has been implemented to further protect community health.

After obtaining your flu vaccine or if you have already done so, students should provide Flu Vaccine Documentation

With questions about flu vaccinations or approved exemptions pursuant to North Carolina immunization requirements, please contact the Office of Health Services at griewischc@lmc.edu or 828.898.8862.

Frequently Asked Questions
The below includes additional information and details about the flu and vaccination requirements.

  •  

    What is the flu (influenza)?

    The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms that can lead to serious health problems, and sadly, both can be fatal. It is important, especially in group living settings, to reduce transmission of all infectious diseases with symptoms that would trigger quarantine and isolation procedures.

  •  

    Why are students required to receive a flu vaccination?

    Being able to reduce much of the flu risk allows us to focus our support efforts on those who test positive for COVID-19. Quarantine and isolation spaces on campus are limited, so it is necessary to reserve those and other campus resources for cases associated with the pandemic. Local medical resources can also become overwhelmed, and by reducing infectious diseases, we can help ensure that healthcare providers have the capacity to tend to those in the greatest need.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health officials recommend that everyone receive a yearly flu vaccine. As such, many of our peer institutions with students living in congregate settings are making or have already established the same flu vaccination requirement.

  •  

    Where can I get a flu vaccination?

    Students can participate in the flu shot clinic on campus or receive the vaccination at other local locations:

    Banner Elk Pharmacy
    Banner Elk (2-minute drive/8-minute walk)
    828.898.4271

    Ballad Health Urgent Care
    Banner Elk (2-minute drive/8-minute walk)
    828.783.9183

    Walgreens
    Banner Elk (8-minute drive)
    828.898.8971

    Avery County Health Department
    Newland (20-minute drive)
    828.733.6031

    Visit the CDC website for Influenza (Flu) resources including the Vaccine Finder tool to identify additional locations near your home address.

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    How much does a flu vaccination cost?

    Most flu vaccinations are free or are offered at a significantly reduced cost with valid health insurance. Out-of-pocket costs generally range from $30–40.

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    How do I document my vaccination?

    After obtaining your flu vaccine or if you have already done so, please use the below form to submit your documentation. Students must provide documentation of a flu vaccination by Jan. 1, 2021.

    Flu Vaccine Documentation

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    Are there exemptions to the flu vaccination requirements?

    Exemptions are allowed consistent with the North Carolina immunization requirements for medical or religious reasons. Students need to provide evidence of eligibility for exemption to the Office of Health Services.