Third Ashe County resident, App State student tests positive for COVID-19

Jackie Park, Editor-in-Chief

App State announced Wednesday that an App State student, who is a resident of Ashe County, tested positive for a travel-related case of the new coronavirus. It is the third case in Ashe County and second reported case from an App State student.

The student lives off campus and has not been on campus since March 4 and is at home, according to an email App State sent.

“With 98% of our students currently off campus, we may continue to learn of self-reported, confirmed cases in App State students that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State and reside outside of Watauga County. 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,” the email read.

Those who are concerned about showing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Health Services at 828-262-3100 and ask to speak to a nurse. Nurses are continuing medical and screening services for students in person and remotely. Faculty and staff who are concerned about their health diagnoses or those of their students should contact [email protected]

The email reminds students, faculty and staff that those who may not be considered “high risk” can still carry the coronavirus to loved ones and should practice social distancing as outline in Gov. Roy Cooper’s March 27 executive order, which asks people to only leave their homes for essential tasks like going to the grocery story, exercising outdoors or helping family members. The order also bans gatherings of more than 10 people and asks everyone to physically stay six feet away from those around them.

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