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Third Watauga County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

BOONE, NC (March 24, 2020) — A third Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This case had travel history, has been in isolation since being tested, and is improving. The local public health staff have identified the close contacts, who have been in quarantine for several days.

“During this time, we want to encourage the public to continue practicing social distancing, staying home to the greatest extent possible, frequent handwashing, covering your cough or sneeze and following the recommendations issued by NC Department of Health & Human Services and the CDC. We realize this is a challenging time for all of us and it will be important for us to all do our part to slow the spread of this virus. We are rapidly adapting to the newest NC DHHS and CDC guidance,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

AppHealthCare is working closely with local partners and agencies to ensure the public’s health is protected and precautions are being taken to protect all residents of Watauga County.

“We recognize this is a challenging time for all of us to quickly adapt as the situation changes and we are confident in our community partnerships to continue our response efforts. We urge everyone to follow current public health guidance to protect our community,” stated Deron Geouque, Watauga County Manager.

We want to remind the public to share credible, reliable information and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your cough and sneeze, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Practice social distancing which means avoiding gatherings, keeping 6 feet or more between you and others and remaining at home to the greatest extent possible
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Keep distance from others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Based on recommendations issued by the NC Department of Health & Human Services, most people do not need testing for COVID-19. When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, please call your healthcare provider.

People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Have a high-risk condition that includes:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Heart disease with complications
    • Compromised immune system
    • Severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
    • Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.

AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call (828) 264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community and will work to keep the public informed. Please visit our website for more information – www.AppHealthCare.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Questions from agencies requesting support on COVID-19 response, planning efforts, etc. can contact preparedness@apphealth.com. Media inquiries can be directed to media@apphealth.com.

We will maintain a positive case count on our website at www.AppHealthCare.com.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at  cdc.gov/coronavirus.

North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. To view the case count for North Carolina, including a county map, please visit the NC DHHS website here.

A COVID-19 toll free helpline has been set up to answer general, non-emergent questions at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

An Appalachian District Health Department Press Release
www.apphealthcare.com