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Toe River Health District COVID-19 Statistics Updated – Cases Surge and Mitchell County Has Second Fatality

By Tim Gardner

The Toe River Health District, which encompasses Avery, Mitchell and Yancey, NC Counties, have identified additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases to update its totals as of this morning (July 20) as follows:

*Avery County-58 positive cases. 10 of those afflicted with the disease have recovered and 48 of those cases remain active.

*Mitchell County-76 positive cases. 59 patients have recovered, 16 remain afflicted and 2 fatalities have occurred.

*Yancey County-88 positive cases. 67 have recovered and 21 are active.

The Mitchell County Health Department was notified Sunday, July 19, of its second COVID-19 associated death in Mitchell County. The individual, in his or her 60’s, was hospitalized at the time of death.

“We (TRHD and health department employees) want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this (deceased) individual,” said Diane Creek, Toe River Health District Health Director. “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 social distancing to reduce the spread of this virus.”

Public health officials are working to complete investigations into the cases and they are contacting close contacts to those who have or have had the virus to try to help contain its spread. To protect individual privacy and for legalities, no further information about the cases will be released.

The Avery, Mitchell and Yancey County Health Departments will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through local media partners such as High-Country Press (hcpress.com).

The COVID‑19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS‑CoV‑2). The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020 and a pandemic on March 11.

As of July 20, 2020, more than 14.5 million cases of COVID‑19 have been reported in more than 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 606,000 deaths; more than 8.13 million people have recovered.

Also, as of the morning of July 20, in the United States, there have been 3,751,841 confirmed COVID-19 cases; with 137,310 deaths and 1,131,121 recovered patients.

In North Carolina, there have been 99,778 cases, with 1,634 deaths and 67,124 recoveries as of statistics released this morning.

North Caroline has the eleventh highest number of COVID-19 cases among America’s 50 states.

The pandemic has caused global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression and global famines affecting 265 million people. It has led to the postponement or cancellation of sporting, religious, political, and cultural events, widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying and decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Schools, universities and colleges have been closed either on a nationwide or local basis in 172 countries, affecting approximately 98.5 percent of the world’s student population. Some misinformation about the virus has circulated through social media and mass media.

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 the advice provided. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.

Medical professionals have declared that regular use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases.

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is directly from reliable sources like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and Avery, Mitchell and Yancey County Health Departments. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821. The hotline is staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.