Third Watauga County resident tests positive for coronavirus

Moss Brennan, Editor in Chief

AppHealthCare announced that a third Watauga County resident tested positive for COVID-19. The person has a travel history and has been in isolation since they were tested. The person is also improving.

Local public health staff identified the close contacts, who have been in quarantine for several days.

“During this time, we want to encourage the public to continue practicing social distancing, staying home to the greatest extent possible, frequent hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze and following the recommendations issued by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” AppHealthCare Health Director Jennifer Greene said in a press release. “We realize this is a challenging time for all of us and it will be important for us to all do our part to slow the spread of this virus. We are rapidly adapting to the newest NCDHHS and CDC guidance.”

AppHealthCare has collected 62 total tests and outside agencies have collected 91 for Watauga County.

AppHealthCare 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 recognize this is a challenging time for all of us to quickly adapt as the situation changes and we are confident in our community partnerships to continue our response efforts. We urge everyone to follow current public health guidance to protect our community,” said Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque.

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, light switches, tables and handles

COVID-19 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 can be found at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov/coronavirus and North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.