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Over 500 Watauga County Residents Received a COVID-19 Test at Saturday’s Free Testing Event at Watauga High School; Preliminary Results Show 16 Positive Tests

By Nathan Ham

A total of 533 residents came to Watauga High School on Saturday to receive a free test for COVID-19, according to data shared by AppHealthCare. Preliminary results from Mako Medical Laboratories, who were responsible for setting up the event, administering the test and breaking everything down after testing was complete, showed that 16 individuals (3 percent) tested positive.

“We are very pleased with how the event turned out and it was successful because of strong community partnerships with Watauga County, Watauga County Schools, Watauga Emergency Management, and Boone Police Department,” said Melissa Bracey, the Director of Communications and Compliance for AppHealthCare.

Bracey said that cars were lined up an hour before the start of the event.

“We appreciate each person who came out to be tested and for their patience,” she said.

Testing is just part of the equation, however, as health officials continue to share the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask and avoiding gathering in big groups.

“We continue to urge everyone to practice the 3 W’s anytime they leave their home and will be around others – wear a cloth face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and wait at least six feet from others. When we all take these actions every time, it will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Bracey.

Watauga County is now up to 177 total cases with 83 of those being active cases. Ashe County has 76 total cases with 19 active cases and Alleghany County has 50 total cases with 14 active cases. There are currently 165 individuals being actively monitored in Watauga, 58 in Ashe, and 37 in Alleghany. 14 people remain hospitalized in the district.