Visitors not allowed at Watauga Medical Center, Cannon Memorial Hospital to prevent spread of COVID-19

Jackie Park, Reporter

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System announced Wednesday that visitors are no longer able to visit Watauga Medical Center or Cannon Memorial Hospital, effective Tuesday night.

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Hospitalized minors
  • Patients at the end of life
  • Patients needing help with communication or decision making
  • Patients giving birth

“The health and safety of our patients, their families, and team members remains a top priority for our organization. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. Rest assured that our patients (your family, friends and neighbors) are receiving exceptional care from our outstanding physicians, nurses and staff,” the ARHS website reads.

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