The Avery County Health Department was notified Thursday, May 21 that a second Avery County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The individual is in isolation, according to the Toe River Health District. Public health staff have already initiated an investigation and have identified close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy and for legal purposes, no further information about the case will be released.

The Avery Journal reports that Avery Sheriff Kevin Frye has confirmed the first case in Avery reported Monday of last week (May 18) was affiliated with the sheriff's department. However, Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier has confirmed this second case is not.

Avery County Health Department representatives said medical officials have been preparing for this reality and anticipated that its community would likely be impacted at some point. Officials say they will continue to keep the public informed.

Also, on May 21, it was reported two more Mitchell County residents tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the Mitchell County total to 8. The individuals have been and continue to be in isolation.

As of Friday morning, AppHealthCare reports there are now 13 positive cases in Alleghany, 32 in Ashe County, and 12 in Watauga. Additional information is available at