AppHealthCare announces second positive case of coronavirus in Watauga County

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Courtesy of the CDC

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019

Moss Brennan, Political Editor

AppHealthCare announced a second Watauga County resident who has tested positive for COVID-19.

This person was exposed to a known positive case and they have been in quarantine and are recovering. The local public health staff have identified the close contacts, who are in quarantine.

“We have been preparing to see more positive cases of COVID-19 in our community and our staff and other agencies have been working to protect the public’s health. We want to encourage the public to practice social distancing and take prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when you’re sick, and keeping distance from others who are sick. Keeping our community healthy is our top priority, and we will work to keep the community informed,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare, in a press release.

A Samaritan’s Purse employee was the first case in Watauga County, but the second case is not an employee at Samaritan’s Purse, the organization told The Appalachian.

AppHealthCare said it 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 continue to work closely with AppHealthCare, stakeholders and local agencies to protect our community’s health. The partnerships in our community are important, and we remain confident in public health’s ability to lead this effort,” stated Deron Geouque, Watauga County Manager, in a press release.

AppHealthCare lists the following information to help protect from the coronavirus:

How to Protect Yourself

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Staying home when you’re sick and don’t send sick children to school
  • Keeping distance from others who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles

“We want to continue to encourage the community to not use the hospital emergency room unless it is a true emergency. We need to preserve our local hospital capacity to respond throughout this event to meet the various healthcare needs that require urgent action in our community,” Greene said.

If someone has been tested for novel coronavirus, it does not mean that they have tested positive. Some people will be instructed by their healthcare provider to self-isolate after a test as a standard procedure for managing public health outbreaks.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop a fever, symptoms of respiratory illness or think you may have COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider. Call ahead before you go to a healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms so they can be prepared.

Those at higher risk for severe illness include:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
  • Weakened immune systems.

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.”