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Coronavirus Cases Decrease in All Three Toe River Health District Counties During Past Week

By Tim Gardner

The Toe River Health District, which governs health departments in the High Country counties of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey, has released its updated coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers for the time period of January 24 through January 30, 2022. And there’s plenty of positive news to report as the number of persons infected with the potentially fatal virus fell from the previous week in all three counties.

During the time period, Avery County had 234 new positive cases compared to 239 the seven days before. That’s five fewer cases during the past week.

Avery County includes the townships and communities of Newland, Banner Elk, Elk Park, Beech Mountain, Linville, Invershield, Pineola, Crossnore, Ingalls, Pyatte, Hughes, Minneapolis, Roaring Creek, Spear, Plumtree and Cranberry.

Mitchell County reported 178 new positive cases during the time period and 210 the week before-a decrease of 32 fewer cases the past seven days. 

Mitchell County includes the townships and communities of Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Penland, Minpro, Estatoe, Ledger, Red Hill, Poplar, Pigeon Roost, Loafers Glory and Buladean.

News was also good in Yancey County, which had 220 new positive cases diagnosed the past seven days, compared to 328 the previous week. That’s an enormous drop of 108 fewer cases.

Townships and communities in Yancey County include: Burnsville, South Toe, Micaville, Newdale, Bald Creek, Cane River, Egypt, Ramseytown, Green Mountain and Pensacola.

As of the release of the report there were 65 active cases being monitored by the Toe River Health District in Mitchell County, 58 in Avery and 63 in Yancey County.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties combined since August 1, 2021 is 68.  Sadly, Yancey had 3 deaths and Mitchell had two due to COVID-19 during the past week.

A detailed breakdown of COVID-19 statistics in the three counties from the past week follows at the end of this article.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, diarrhea, nausea, headache, sore throat 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 COVID-19 symptoms. 

Medical professionals have declared that because coronavirus and its variants is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, everyone is urged to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including COVID-19, until the vaccines are much more widely taken.  Those include:  Stay home as much as possible-especially stay home and quarantined when sick; practice social distancing (at least 6 feet); wear a mask when out in public; avoid contact with persons who you know are sick; cover your cough; practice good hand hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol; and cleaning frequently touched surfaces often with household cleaners.

Further details about coronavirus, testing for the disease, vaccinations and the Toe River Health District can be obtained by calling its local health departments, depending on which of those counties in which you reside or where you wish to be inoculated:

Avery Co. Health Department (828)-733-6031

Mitchell Co. Health Department (828)-688-2371

Yancey Co. Health Department (828)-682-6118.