AppHealthCare confirms 3 COVID-19 cases in Ashe County, including App State employee

Emily Broyles, Reporter

Three Ashe County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to AppHealthCare. The total case count for the county stands at eight.

One of the three individuals is an App State employee. The individual has fully followed isolation procedures and is recovering at home. Close contacts to the case are also in quarantine.

App State sent an email to students Thursday acknowledging the case. The university said they are working with AppHealthCare and the North Carolina Division of Public Health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“With nearly all students and employees currently off campus, we hear of self-reported, confirmed cases that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State. As we learn of these cases, we are coordinating with local public health agencies to the greatest extent possible, in consultation with the North Carolina Division of Public Health Communicable Disease team,” App State said.

The additional cases are related to an ongoing investigation at a food processing facility in another county with a known outbreak, according to a press release.

“As we enter into Phase One of the Governor’s plan for easing restrictions, we want to reiterate the importance of everyone protecting themselves from this virus. If you leave your home, follow the three Ws and wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. These are important actions we can all take to protect ourselves and each other. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare to discuss your symptoms to determine whether testing would be appropriate,”Jennifer Greene, health director for AppHealthCare said in the release.

Case counts for Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties can be found on AppHealthCare’s website.

Protect yourself with these preventative measures:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • 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

COVID-19 signs & symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you are concerned about symptoms you might be experiencing, you can contact Student Health Service at (828) 262-3100 or AppHealthCare at (828) 264-4995, ext. 0.

Those at higher risk for severe illness include:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Individuals with high-risk or underlying health conditions like heart disease with complications, chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, diabetes, renal failure or liver disease, or severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher)
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems
  • Individuals who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility