Fifth Watauga County resident tests positive for coronavirus


Moss Brennan, Reporter

AppHealthCare has announced a fifth Watauga County resident has tested positive for coronavirus. The person had a 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,” Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare health director, said in a press release.

AppHealthCare advises people stay at home to the greatest extent they are able especially “if you are a person who is at a higher risk for severe illness.” It also advises that if someone does become ill, call your healthcare provider or call AppHealthCare to speak with a public health staff member before going to the your provider or emergency room.

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.

“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,” Will Holt, Watauga County emergency services director, said in a press release.

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

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

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at

North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at

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 and select “chat.”