By Tim Gardner
For the second consecutive week, the Northwest North Carolina High Country counties that encompass the Toe River Health District had a slight increase in confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Those three counties—Avery, Mitchell and Yancey- have had 482 total cases as of this morning, (September 1), compared to 445 a week ago. Counts of those afflicted with the disease have been tabulated, updated and publicly released since early March 2020 when COVID-19 became a pandemic in the United States.
The Toe River Health District released the following details of those positive case counts including those during the past week:
*Avery County-167 positive cases. 142 of those diagnosed have recovered from the disease and 25 are active cases.
Avery had eighteen new COVID-19 cases this past week—an average of almost three per day (2.6).
Avery County includes the townships and communities of Newland, Banner Elk, Elk Park, Beech Mountain, Linville, Invershield, Pineola, Crossnore, Ingalls, Pyatte, Hughes, Minneapolis and Cranberry.
*Mitchell County-146 positive cases. 138 of those diagnosed have recovered and 4 remain afflicted with the disease. Mitchell has had four deaths from COVID-19.
Mitchell had only three cases during the past week.
Mitchell County includes the townships and communities of Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Penland, Minpro, Estatoe, Ledger, Red Hill, Poplar, Pigeon Roost, Loafers Glory and Buladean.
*Yancey County-169 positive cases. 146 of those have recovered and 22 remain active. Yancey has had one death from COVID-19.
Yancey had sixteen cases over the past week.
Townships and communities in Yancey County include: Burnsville, South Toe, Micaville, Newdale, Bald Creek, Cane River, Egypt, Ramseytown, Green Mountain and Pensacola.
As with all COVID-19 cases in the Toe River Health District (TRHD), its representatives and Avery, Mitchell and Yancey health department officials are working to complete investigations and are in the process of contacting close contacts to those diagnosed with COVID-19 to try to help contain the spread of disease, according to Jessica Farley, Public Relations Specialist for the TRHD.
For legal reasons, no further information about those afflicted with COVID-19 will be released. But the TRHD and Avery, Mitchell and Yancey County Health Departments is keeping the public informed by announcing any additional cases and information about such that public record laws permit through local media partners such as High Country Press (hcpress.com).
If you’re a resident of, or a visitor to either of three counties in the Toe River Health District and have questions about COVID-19, you are requested to call its local health departments:
Avery Co. Health Department (828)-733-6031
Mitchell Co. Health Department (828)-688-2371
Yancey Co. Health Department (828)-682-6118