By Nathan Ham
The last week has been a rough one in terms of hoping to see a drop in positive COVID-19 cases in Watauga County. The statistics show that cases are increasing and a total of 159 Appalachian State students are currently dealing with active cases of the virus.
The largest increase has been in the age group associated with college students, ages 18-24, according to AppHealthCare.
“Each fall and winter we typically see an increase in viruses that circulate in the community including flu and other respiratory infections. This year we will also have COVID-19 circulating so we all need to be vigilant and take actions to protect each other. The actions we have been taking to slow the spread of COVID-19 will likely also protect us from other respiratory viruses like the flu. Continue practicing the 3Ws, avoid large gatherings, maintain good hygiene and cleaning practices, stay home when sick, and get a flu vaccine,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director at AppHealthCare.
As of September 29, Watauga County surpassed 1,000 total COVID-19 cases with 1,076 positive tests. Currently, there are 216 active cases in the county with 259 individuals being actively monitored. The county has also had nine deaths from the virus.
In Ashe County, there are currently 33 active cases to bring the total to 288. In Alleghany County, there are 17 active cases for a total of 234 positive tests. Inside the three-county district, there are 39 people who are currently hospitalized with complications from COVID-19.
Appalachian State is now reporting a cumulative positive case count of 561 students, 26 employees, and 41 subcontractors. There are also seven ongoing COVID-19 clusters being reported on campus. The largest cluster involved the Mountaineer football team with 43 cumulative cases with three of those still active. The wrestling team had 13 total cases with two of those still active. Clusters were also reported within Chi Omega sorority with 10 cases (zero active), Kappa Delta sorority with 10 cases (one active), and Alpha Delta Pi sorority with nine cases (seven active). Raven Rocks resident hall has all seven cases currently active in that cluster and the Thunder Hill residence hall had 12 total cases with four of those currently active.