AppHealthCare has confirmed and is continuing to investigate an outbreak of COVID-19 at Bottomley Evergreens and Farms in Alleghany County.

To date, there have been 102 confirmed cases and results are still pending for some individuals. The majority of the positive cases are reporting no symptoms.

Last week a few cases of COVID-19 were at Bottomley Evergreens and Farms. The company requested
assistance from AppHealthCare and working together decided to test the entire workforce, testing 398
individuals late last week.

According to the AppHealthCare press release, this type of response testing is needed to determine how far the virus has spread and prevent further transmission. "We appreciate the partnership with Bottomley Evergreens and Farms and have worked with them to coordinate and offer testing and review existing safety protocols in place to protect employees.

"COVID-19 spreads most commonly through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes and
is in close contact with others. When there is a confirmed case in a setting like Bottomley Evergreens
and Farms, we want to work quickly to offer testing to everyone since the virus can spread easily in
these environments due to people working and living in close proximity to others.

“Due to the nature of this virus, we are concerned with the number of individuals who are positive and
living and working within close proximity to others. We are continuing to work together with Bottomley
Evergreens and Farms to implement control measures to limit further spread of the virus. We have
provided public health and infection control guidance and will continue to work in partnership with
them to prevent further spread. We urge everyone to practice kindness and think of others by practicing
the 3Ws - wear a face covering, wait at least 6 feet from others and wash your hands often or use hand
sanitizer. These are actions that can be taken to prevent further spread and protect the Bottomley
Evergreens and Farms workers and the entire Alleghany County community,” stated Jennifer Greene,
Health Director, AppHealthCare.

“The health and safety of our employees and the community are our priority. We are working closely
with AppHealthCare to follow and adhere to public health and infection control guidance to prevent
further spread. Safety protocols include symptom screenings before every shift, education about the
spread of COVID-19 and providing protective equipment. We have isolated individuals who are sick and
those who have been determined as close contacts are in quarantine. We are committed to protecting our community and will do our part to prevent additional spread of this virus, “ stated Paul Harrison,
spokesperson for the company.

Bottomley Evergreens and Farms of Glade Creek in Alleghany, provides Christmas greenery, as well as fresh produce, pumpkins and beef cattle.

AppHealthCare reports as of Monday, Watauga has had a total of 283 cases of COVID-19, 80 cases are active; Ashe with 126 total cases, 46 are active; and Alleghany is now at 165 total cases, with 112 currently active, including those cases confirmed from Bottomley Evergreens.

Toe River Health District reported Monday 7 new COVID-19 cases in Avery, which puts them at 99 positive cases, 68 have recovered and 31 active. Yancey County had 2 new cases which puts them at 101 positive cases, 93 have recovered and 7 active. Mitchell County had 4 new cases Monday which puts them at 116 positive cases, 100 have recovered, 14 active.