Two additional App State connections test positive for COVID-19, Watauga County total positive cases now 11

Jackie Park, Editor-in-Chief

Two residents of Watauga County with connections to App State tested positive for COVID-19 according to an email from the university.

One of the individuals is an employee of App State and was last on campus March 20. The other connection is a subcontracted worker who last worked on campus May 13. Both individuals are isolating at home.

Some close contacts of the individuals have been identified and instructed to quarantine during this time. These contacts have access to testing if needed, according to the email.

The contractor performed a thorough cleaning of its job site and its workers will remain off campus until public health clears their return.

The confirmation of these cases brings Watauga County’s case count to 11.

“The university is implementing enhanced precautionary measures with employees who are on campus as well as with subcontracted workers, which include wearing face coverings, maintaining appropriate physical distance and reviewing North Carolina Governor’s Executive Orders 131 and 135, which require all individuals to wear face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of distance in public areas or work centers,” the email states.

The university hosts a dedicated site for information about the new coronavirus. That website can be found here.

“As testing guidance continues to expand, we expect to see additional cases. It remains important for each person in the community to do their part to slow the spread of 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,” said Jennifer Greene, health director for AppHealthCare.

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