Lees-McRae College continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The college is working with local health officials and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), in addition to seeking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Count Dashboard

The active count includes current test-positive or presumptive positive diagnoses.
Recovered cases includes those who have resumed regular activities after isolation per CDC guidelines.
Quarantine numbers include those who have separated from others because they might have been exposed.

Updated October 23, 2020

The above dashboard reflects known cases of or potential exposures to COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff since April 1 regardless of individual location. The college does not disclose the identity of affected individuals.

The active count includes current test-positive or presumptive positive diagnoses, while recovered includes those who have resumed regular activities after isolation per CDC guidelines. Quarantine numbers include those who have separated from others because they might have been exposed.

Transmission Indicators


The college is modifying operations based on current transmission levels.

The college is modifying operations based on current transmission levels.

The college has developed a tiered series of threat levels to inform the Lees-McRae community about the ongoing COVID-19 transmission risk on campus. The following five indicators are examined on a daily basis:

  • Main Campus Infections
  • Contact Tracing
  • Isolation/Quarantine Spaces
  • Faculty/Staff Cases
  • Community Levels

View the guide

Each component is scored individually on a scale of one (1) to four (4) and the average of those scores is used to determine overall severity. Levels range from low transmission (“COVID-19 modified operations”) to moderate, high, or uncontrolled transmissions. The college uses the transmission levels to guide institutional response and make operational changes that can reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Self-Reporting

Students, faculty, and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with positive test results OR with a presumed diagnosis of COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on symptoms should notify the college. Submitted information will be used to support those diagnosed with COVID-19 and to help minimize the spread of the virus. All persons indicating a positive test will be contacted by a contact tracer in collaboration with the Avery County Health Department.

Diagnosis Reporting Form

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

With known positive cases on campus, the Lees-McRae community may experience a greater frequency of individuals in isolation or quarantine. The college has prepared for this eventuality and has protocols in place to support those affected and help limit the spread of COVID-19.

View isolation and quarantine protocols

Frequently Asked Questions


    What is COVID-19?

    COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first documented in Asia Coronaviruses are a common cause of colds or other respiratory infections.. Thousands of cases have been reported in North Carolina and millions have been confirmed in the United States and around the world.


    How does the virus spread?

    According to the CDC, the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person in the form of respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission of the disease may also occur when individuals touch a contaminated surface or object and then touch their own mouth, nose, or eyes.


    What are symptoms of the illness?

    Symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus, appear 2–14 days after exposure and may include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    What is the risk of infection?

    According to the CDC everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. The coronavirus has been documented in the U.S., including the state of North Carolina. Risk of infection is dependent on where you are in relation to current outbreaks—the disease is actively spreading in some American cities and states. The WHO is still studying how COVID-19 affects people, but notes that older individuals and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes) develop serious illness more often than others.


    How can I protect myself and others from infection?

    To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, individuals should follow the same steps that reduce the spread of influenza B (the flu) and the common cold. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to:

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds each time).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

    What should I do if I feel sick?

    Those who feel sick, should isolate themselves in their residence hall room or at home until they have been cleared by a healthcare provider after recovering from the illness. During isolation, individuals who feel sick should separate themselves from other people and monitor for worsening symptoms.

    Students who are isolating due to illness should contact their healthcare provider and notify the Office of Health Services at or 828.898.8862. Faculty and staff who isolate should contact their healthcare provider and notify their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources at or 828.898.8743. Individuals who feel sick should not visit Health Services or any healthcare provider without calling or emailing first.


    Is Lees-McRae modifying its operations?

    Safety measures consistent with the state’s re-opening guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols will be in effect throughout the semester. Visit Return to Campus: Fall 2020 webpage for more information.

CARES Act/HEERF Emergency Grants

Congress established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A portion of this funding was received by the college in the form of institutional grants and a portion was received to assist students who face financial hardships due to the disruption of campus operations associated with COVID-19.

Learn how the CARES Act/HEERF Emergency Grants have been administered
Learn how institutional grants have been allocated

This page is intended to document positive cases and basic information about COVID-19 It is NOT comprehensive nor intended to provide medical or legal advice unique to individual circumstances.