By Tim Gardner
As of last night, March 24th, 88 individuals have been tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, according to a Facebook posting by Toe River Health District Director Diane Creek. The Toe River Health District encompasses Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.
The release was submitted to High Country Press from Jessica Farley, public relations spokesperson for the Toe River Health District.
Creek reported the following testing results so far in the Tri-Counties:
Avery County 23 tests done- 9 negative; 14 pending
Mitchell County 37 tests done- 18 negative; 19 pending
Yancey County 28 tests done- 11 negative; 17 pending
Creek noted that medical laboratories are taking between three to seven days to complete and send the results back to the local health agencies and that medical professionals are working “around the clock” to test and compile results due to the extremely high volume of people being tested during this pandemic.
Creek requested that people please be kind to the Toe River Health District’s staff and other medical personnel, including nurses who are working very long hours, sometimes seven days a week.
She cited an example of medical staff personnel being mistreated and disrespected. “One of our nurses had to listen to an irate woman for ten minutes. The woman was irate because the results of a test were not back,” Creek said. “That is not our fault. The fact that there is a shortage of test kits so we (medical personnel in the Toe River Health District) can’t test everyone. The (medical) laboratories are swamped with tests from all over the state, so it’s taking longer and testing criteria changes is not our fault. We are doing this (testing) because we care about you (our residents) and your health. I expect the public to treat our staff, from the front desk check-in workers to the providers with kindness and respect.
“I also expect all of our staff to treat you with kindness and respect. So please think about this the next time when things don’t go your way, maybe you have to wait longer than you think you should (or) maybe you have to do something you really don’t want to do. But don’t take it out on the person who is trying to help you most.
Creek added that she will post daily updates on social media concerning the Coronavirus test results in Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.