A fifth Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

This case had travel history and has been in isolation since being tested. The local public health staff have identified the close contacts, who have been in quarantine.

“We have been preparing to see more cases here. Together, we will be able to move through the days ahead. We have a resilient community. I want to ask the public to remember that this situation is rapidly evolving. We all need to expect things to continue to change in the days and weeks ahead, but we are strong, and we have a lot of capable people from various organizations working to prepare us for more response efforts, ” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

Stay home to the greatest extent that you are able, especially if you are a person who is at a higher risk for severe illness. If you do become ill, call your healthcare provider or call AppHealthCare to speak with a public health staff member before going to your provider or the emergency room, 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.

“Watauga County partners are continuing to work together to prepare for additional medical and public health needs. In addition, planning continues with other community partners to continue meeting basic needs including working with state partners to establish connections for supply chains and laying the groundwork for additional medical infrastructure capacity,” stated Will Holt, Watauga County Emergency Services Director.

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, lightswitches, 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Media inquiries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.”