Fourth Ashe County resident tests positive for COVID-19


Moss Brennan, Reporter

A fourth Ashe County resident tested positive for COVID-19, according to AppHealthCare. The case has known travel history and is recovering at home. The local health department identified close contacts who are in quarantine.

AppHealthCare staff are currently partnering with Boone Family Funeral Home to make outreach to close contacts who need to quarantine for 14 days to avoid potential further spread of the virus.

Those who attended a funeral service operated by Boone Family Funeral Home or visited this establishment in Ashe County from March 19 through April 2 are urged to contact public health staff by calling the AppHealthCare office in Ashe County at 336-246-9449 for an interview to determine if further guidance about possible need for self quarantine is required.

“We are taking this additional step out of an abundance of caution in order to accurately identify any additional close contacts that have not previously been contacted as part of our usual case investigation steps,” Jennifer Greene, health director of AppHealthCare, said in a press release. “We are grateful for the Boone Family Funeral Home and appreciate their support and involvement in assisting with the contact investigation. We understand that people have many questions about individual cases and we want the community to know we are working diligently to keep the community informed while also protecting patient privacy.”

Greene urges the Ashe County community to continue to stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing and take preventative measures like wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, practicing frequent handwashing, staying home when you’re sick, avoiding crowds, and keeping physical distance from others who are sick.

“Boone Family Funeral Home is working closely with AppHealthCare as we work to identify close contacts. We have implemented planning efforts by telephone for families and have changed our procedures to lessen the chance that others become unintentionally exposed,” David Boone, owner and president of Boone Family Funeral Home, said in a press release.

Boone said all employees who were identified as close contacts have been in quarantine and will not work until their quarantine period ends.

“We are committed to protecting our community and will follow guidance from AppHealthCare in order to do our part to slow the spread of this virus,” Boone said.

Ashe County Manager Adam Stumb said as the county sees more cases of COVID-19, it will take “every single one of us doing our part to slow the spread of this virus.”

“Please follow the Governor’s stay at home order and only go out for essential trips. The newest action taken by Governor Cooper yesterday is to further emphasize our need to practice social distancing. We appreciate the partnership of many local agencies and our citizens and encourage everyone to share only reliable and credible information,” Stumb said.