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Rep. Ray Russell’s March 26th Newsletter on Coronavirus Updates, Announcements and Info

The fourth person was confirmed to have coronavirus in Northwest North Carolina. The announcement was made this morning by AppHealthCare. See their announcement at https://www.apphealthcare.com/fourth-watauga-county-resident-tests-positive-for-covid-19-novel-coronavirus/.
Our prayers are with this individual for a fast and full recovery.
The Watauga County resident had a travel history and has been in isolation since being tested. Local public health staff have identified close contacts, who have been in quarantine as well.
All four individuals in NW NC, who have tested positive for coronavirus, contracted the virus during travel outside the region (or interaction with a known person who had traveled outside the region and tested positive).
Precautions and Information
The fundamental thoughts for what each of us should do to protect ourselves and others is “Behave as if you might have the virus.” and following public health professionals’ guidance. For more information, see the links below.
Our public heath office, AppHealthCare, is the primary local source of information about coronavirus. See https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-information/
For more information from our hospitals, see Appalachian Regional’s website at https://apprhs.org/COVID19/ or 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. Also, North Carolina coronavirus updates are available by calling 888.892.1162 or by texting COVIDNC to 898211
Symptoms of Coronavirus and What to Do
Symptoms of Coronavirus range from mild to severe illness. The following may appear 2-14 days after contracting the virus.
– Fever
– Cough
– Shortness of breath
If you believe you have symptoms of Coronavirus and live in Watauga County:
1)    Call AppHealthCare at 828-264-4995,
2)    Visit https://apprhs.org/covid19-screening/ online and follow screening instructions, or
3)   Call your primary care doctor.
If you believe you have symptoms of Coronavirus and live in Ashe County call AppHealthCare at 336-246-9449 or call your primary care doctor.
While all groups of people appear to be equally likely to get Coronavirus, the following groups are more likely to have a more severe illness:
– Adults over the age of 65
– Anyone with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
– Individuals with weakened immune systems.
We will work through this process as we entered 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.