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Ray Russell, Virginia Foxx Issue Statements Regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus

Ray Russell Issues Update on COVID-19 Information for the High Country

In order to provide up-to-date information to residents of Northwest North Carolina on COVID-19 (Coronavirus), NC Rep. Ray Russell’s office is providing the following webpage links to assist residents of Ashe and Watauga Counties.

“The better informed we are, the better chance we have of slowing the spread of Coronavirus,” Rep. Russell said. “As of noon, Thursday, March 12, 2020, NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred in Ashe or Watauga Counties, and 12 confirmed cases have been reported in North Carolina. The goals of medical and government professionals are to: 1) slow the spread of the disease, 2) have our medical facilities and professionals ready where it does occur, and 3) assist with individuals and businesses that are adversely affected economically.”

Rep. Ray Russell continued, “Any information about the virus and its impact is merely a snapshot in time and will be out of date quickly. So, we will publish references to where the latest information can always be found. We will continue to post information sources on our social media, https://www.facebook.com/RayRussellforNC/.”

Local health care professionals and government offices have been preparing for weeks. Here’s a list of resources…

  • The regional public health office is a good clearinghouse for information specifically for Northwest North Carolina. AppHealthCare’s website is https://www.apphealthcare.com/ and is updated frequently.
  • Local hospitals:  See Appalachian Regional’s website at https://apprhs.org/ and Ashe Memorial Hospital’s website at https://www.ashememorial.org/ for their updates.
  • For information specific to North Carolina, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) provides the latest information on COVID-19 at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina.
  • Nationally, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers updates at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
  • Appalachian State University announced Wednesday (3/11/2020) that Spring Break will be extended until March 23. After that, the university will transition to as much online instruction as possible. Details are unfolding daily. For the latest university information refer to https://www.appstate.edu/go/coronavirus/.
  • County governments are meeting as this press release is being written. Check http://www.ashecountygov.com/ and http://www.wataugacounty.org/ for updates.
  • Students, faculty, and staff at local community colleges should refer to the college’s web pages. For the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute see https://www.cccti.edu/, and for Wilkes Community College’s Ashe Campus, see https://www.wilkescc.edu

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our outstanding medical professionals and institutions across Northwest North Carolina,” Rep. Russell said. “They always deserve our support and admiration, but especially at a time like this.

“I and my office are ready to assist in any way possible. The immediate issues are medical and institutional disruptions; however, over time, economic challenges will be felt, especially among our most vulnerable community members. Please contact my office at Ray.Russell@ncleg.net for more information.

“We will work through this process as we enter it—a strong community of people who care for each other. We will make good decisions as events unfold. We’ll support each other. And we will pray for everyone affected.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx Statement

Today, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued the following statement on the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19.

“At present, nothing is more important than protecting our families and our loved ones from the spread of COVID-19. It’s imperative that we stay abreast of updates from both the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and follow their guidance accordingly. If you believe you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, and are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, repeated coughing, or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately and follow the proper health and safety measures.”