By Nathan Ham
AppHealthCare released Monday’s updated COVID-19 testing totals for the counties that they serve. Watauga County had four COVID-19 tests collected today to bring the total to 62. In addition to those tests, AppHealthCare reported 91 tests collected from outside agencies for people in Watauga County.
In Ashe County, AppHealthCare has collected two tests and received 21 tests from outside agencies. In Alleghany County, they have collected four tests and received eight tests from outside agencies.
According to AppHealthCare, nearly all of the tests conducted have included preliminary negative flu tests.
Melissa Bracey, the Director of Communications and Compliance for AppHealthCare, said that they are “looking ahead” about how they utilize “public health surveillance tools into this next phase of managing this outbreak.”
“The way we track flu surveillance in our state is likely similar to how we will see COVID-19 be tracked in the future with several providers and hospitals reporting on their data,” said Bracey.
AppHealthCare will also be transitioning to a new strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Our strategy for decreasing the impact of this virus is shifting. We are going to be encouraging more people to stay home, call their doctor, and only seek medical care if they have an urgent need,” said Bracey. “We are working closely with our partners, including Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to continue communicating this to the public.”
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ website indicates that there are 297 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina as of 3:00 pm on Monday, March 23rd – with 8438 completed tests from across North Carolina.
Charts on this year’s flu season: