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Rep. Ray Russell’s May 20th Newsletter on Coronavirus Updates, Announcements and Info

Spread of Coronavirus
Across the United States, as of Wednesday evening, May 20, the number of people who are confirmed to have coronavirus is 1,591,962. We are sure more people have the virus who have not been tested. Sadly, 94,993 people have died from coronavirus.
In North Carolina the number of people who are “laboratory-confirmed” to have coronavirus is 20,261. Currently, 554 people are hospitalized with coronavirus. To date, 726 North Carolinians have died from coronavirus. 11,637 are presumed to have recovered. All 100 NC counties now have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The NC DHHS “Dashboard” has a new look with improved graphs for metrics used to track North Carolina’s status in the pandemic. See https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.
Locally, the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Ashe County is 28 (no change since Monday). The number of Watauga County residents who have tested positive is 12; one more since Monday.
The AppHealthCare Data Dashboard also has a new look with improved graphics. See https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-information/covid-19-data-dashboard/.
Our prayers are with all these people affected by coronavirus along with their families.
Phase 2 Begins Friday, May 22, 5 PM
This newsletter is brief. I’ll let Governor Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen speak through their Press Release. The press release contains links to explanatory data and charts. See https://governor.nc.gov/news/key-indicators-remain-stable-north-carolina-moves-safer-home-phase-2.
An accompanying Frequently Asked Questions is available at https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/Phase-2-FAQ.pdf.
Friday’s newsletter will highlight specific items of most importance to NW NC residents.
The next several weeks will be critical. Do all you can to follow the guidance and encourage (nicely) others to do the same. In addition to the required items in Phase 2, the single most effective way to end this pandemic is to wear a cloth mask anytime you are indoors in public places. Please wear the mask!
Broadband Expansion Press Conference
I am one of the primary sponsors of HB 1122, “Provide Affordable Broadband Access to NC“. See https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2019/H1122. All four primary sponsors will be part of a press conference about the bill at 10 AM, May 21. The link to the online event is https://ncdp.zoom.us/j/93153218112?pwd=UHZkNUhxUEh1RWZyMnliZy91R01nUT09&status=success.
If You have Coronavirus Symptoms…
If you believe you have symptoms of coronavirus and live in Watauga County:
1) Call AppHealthCare at 828-264-4995 or (828) 795-1970 during regular business hours,
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.
More Information
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://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/. Also, North Carolina coronavirus updates are available by calling 888.892.1162 or by texting COVIDNC to 898211