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COVID-19 Update: Positive Cases Trending Down in Watauga County and Across the High Country

By Nathan Ham

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Watauga County have started to decline over the last month, a trend that is showing up in many locations across the country as more and more vaccines are given and people continue to wear masks and remain socially distanced. According to the latest data from the CDC, just over 64 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States.

According to the latest data from AppHealthCare, Watauga County currently has 112 active COVID-19 cases as of February 22. At the beginning of January, there were over 200 active cases on January 9. The number dropped to 174 during the week of January 10-16 and dropped again to 143 January 17-23. The number remained almost the same with just three additional active cases in the final week of January before dropping to 118 in the first week of February and down to 112 as of February 13. In Ashe County, there are only 30 active cases and just 13 active cases in Alleghany County.

Currently, there are 99 people in Watauga County in quarantine, 91 people in Ashe County in quarantine and 11 people in Alleghany County.

Appalachian State also has had some positive news about the COVID-19 infection rates on campus. From January 10 to February 14, there were 228 positive tests out of 11,019 tests conducted on campus. That amounts to a positivity rate of 2.1 percent. The rate dropped even more last week after 1,185 tests were conducted and just positive cases, a rate of 1.86 percent, well below the current North Carolina positivity rate of 5.7 percent. As of Monday afternoon, there are 52 students with active COVID-19 cases.