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Toe River Health District Announces First Confirmed Coronavirus Death in Mitchell Counnty

By Tim Gardner

The Toe River Health District, which encompasses Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties in the North Carolina High Country, has announced that the Mitchell County Health Department was notified today of its first Coronavirus (CoOID-19) associated death in that county and in the Toe River District.

The individual, in his or her 80’s, was hospitalized and on a ventilator. To protect the family’s privacy no further information about the patient will be released.

Mitchell County includes the townships and communities of Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Penland, Ledger, Red Hill, Poplar, Pigeon Roost, Loafers Glory and Buladean.

“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Toe River Health District Health Director, Diane Creek. “This virus continues to spread within our communities and has the potential to cause fatal results to anyone infected. This is one reason why it is important for everyone to comply with the face covering requirement and reduce the spread of this virus.”

The Toe River Health District also announced seven additional confirmed cases today (July 6) of COVID-19 in both Mitchell and Yancey (Burnsville) Counties and two more in Avery County.

Avery County currently has had 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases (8 have recovered and 19 remain active). Yancey County has had 59 positive cases (44 have recovered and 15 are active). Mitchell County also has had 59 positive cases (27 have recovered and 32 are active). 

On Independence Day (July 4), Avery, Mitchell and Yancey each had four confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to Toe River Health District officials.

Avery County includes the townships and communities of Newland, Banner Elk, Elk Park, Linville, Pineola, Crossnore, Ingalls, Minneapolis and Cranberry.

Yancey County has the townships and communities of Burnsville, South Toe, Micaville, Bald Creek, Egypt-Ramseytown, Green Mountain and Pensacola.

Public health officials are working to complete the investigations of these new COVID-19 cases and they are contacting their close contacts to attempt to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about these newly-confirmed cases will be released.

Officials of the Toe River Health District and the Yancey, Mitchell and Avery County Health Departments have said they will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that arise through the media.

As of this morning (July 6), North Carolina has had 74,529 positive cases of Coronavirus and there are 982 people currently hospitalized. Sadly, there have been 1,398 deaths in the state (Source-NC Department of Health and Human Services).

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, diarrhea, nausea, headache, sore throat, and body aches. If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow his or her advice. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Doctors world-wide have indicated that 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24 hours a day; seven days a week).