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Five Rivers Street Ale House Employees Test Positive for COVID-19; Customers to be Notified

AppHealthCare is working closely with the Rivers Street Ale House to investigate five confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees. The employees are in isolation at home and are recovering.

As part of the investigation to identify additional exposures and notify customers, if you were at the Rivers Street Ale House between August 4th and August 13th, we encourage you to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and be tested. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare to discuss testing and isolate from others. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

“We want to increase awareness of individuals who may have come in close contact with the individuals who have COVID-19. We take this very seriously and are taking extra precaution to locate individuals as part of the case investigation. It is important for the community to know that we are making this public announcement for the reason of narrowing our efforts to identify those at risk. Rivers Street Ale House is not named due to any action or inaction on their part or identified ongoing public health risk with frequenting their establishment. We appreciate their ongoing partnership in this response effort,” said AppHealthCare Health Director Jennifer Greene.

“We have been blessed and thankful that through the hard work of our staff and guidance from the health department we have dodged the Covid bullet, until yesterday. Unfortunately, we have had staff test positive, and although we did not have to, we chose to shut down the restaurant before opening yesterday, out of an abundance of caution. The measures we have taken thus far are extensive. A few of the things we have done are to offer free masks to any patrons that do not have one, have bouncers 7 days a week to keep social distancing in check and ensure we are at 50% capacity, constant cleaning and sterilization, Count On Me NC training, digital menus, socially distanced tables, expanded our outdoor seating, mask/hygiene reminders throughout our property and the requirement for staff to wear masks and gloves at all times. We look forward to working with the Health Department to re-open in as safe a fashion as possible. We greatly appreciate your support during these crazy times. We have always and will continue to do all we can to keep our staff, customers and the High Country community safe,” stated Jeff Lamont and Justin Davis, Owners, Rivers Street Ale House.

This virus spreads most commonly through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes and is in close contact with another person. Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as 6 feet of distance or less for 15 minutes or longer. In a setting where people are in close contact with others and not practicing the 3Ws, there is an increased risk of exposure.


If you would like to be tested,

Also, Appalachian State University is expanding its pop-up testing event this Saturday, August 15 to offer free testing to any App State student, staff or faculty member who patronized Rivers Street Ale House during the time period of August 4 – 13 and would like a COVID-19 test. Free testing is offered Saturday, August 15 until 6pm outside of the Holmes Convocation Center (adjacent to the parking lot). Appointments are not required, but you must provide your Banner ID. Find information about additional testing options for App State students, faculty and staff on the university’s dedicated coronavirus website, linked from www.appstate.edu.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Wear a cloth face covering
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
  • Wait at least 6 feet from others
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Keep distance from others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles.


COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms. These include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you believe you may have been in close contact (6 feet or less for 15 minutes for more) with someone known to have COVID-19, we would recommend you be tested and quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure with the confirmed individual to prevent further spread of the virus in the community.

For more information related to COVID-19, including local data, visit AppHealthCare’s website here.

Our COVID-19 call center is available to take COVID-19 related calls each day from 8:00am to 8:00pm at (828) 795-1970 and you can also email questions to preparedness@apphealth.com.


AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call Watauga (828) 264-4995, Ashe (336) 246-9449, Alleghany (336) 372-5641 anytime and follow the prompts. For more information, visit www.AppHealthCare.com and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.