By Tim Gardner
The Avery County Health Department, an entity of the Toe River Health District, was notified Monday, June 8 that one more Avery County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This individual is in isolation and to protect individual privacy and for legal purposes, no further information about the case will be released by health department officials. But county health officials have indicated that this case is related to another of the positive cases in the county during the past few days.
Avery County is the last of North Carolina’s counties to have a COVID-19 case, and currently has had eight COVID-19 cases.
Toe River and Avery County Health Department officials have reported that six of those cases are active, while two individuals inflicted with the virus have recovered. Those health department staffs have completed investigations and contacted close contacts of those afflicted with the virus to contain the spread of disease.
Toe Rover and Avery County Health Department officials also are keeping the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through local and regional media outlets.
Health officials have said that it is important to understand that the identification of a case does not change strategies for preventing and reducing the spread of disease. Above all else, please isolate yourself at home if you are sick. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, headaches, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea and body aches. If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow their advice. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. Medical professionals have also said that approximately eighty percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.
“As our counties start opening back up it’s important to remember that CoVID-19 is still here,” added Diane Creek, Toe River Health District Health Director. “We are blessed in Avery County to have a strong community. Our public officials and county leadership have been working tirelessly to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part by continuing to follow the guidelines, and remember that we’re all in this together, and to support one another”.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, the Health Department urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19:
- Stay home as much as possible
- Especially stay home when sick
- Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet)
- Wear a mask when out in public
- Avoid contact with persons that you know are sick
- Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow; or use a tissue and throw in trash)
- Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing)
- If you do not have access to soap and water use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners
Routine use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC, NCDHHS and Avery County Health Department. For more information, phone the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7).