By Tim Gardner
The Avery County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified Thursday, June 4, that two Avery County residents have tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
These individuals are in isolation, according to ACHD and TRHS officials.
Avery County has had a total of four COVID-19 cases.
Staff of both are working to complete an investigation and contact close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy and for legal purposes, no further information about these Avery County cases will be released.
ACHD and TRHD officials have also indicated they will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that arise in the county.
Avery and TRHD representatives said it is crucial for people to understand that the identification of a case does not change their local strategies for preventing and reducing the spread of disease. Top priority is to isolate yourself at home if you are sick. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, headaches, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea and body aches. If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow their advice. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 and inform the dispatcher you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Medical professionals have stated that approximately 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.
“As our counties start opening back up it’s important to remember that CoVID-19 is still here,” said Diane Creek, Toe River Health District Health Director. “We are blessed in Avery County to have a strong community. Your public officials and county leadership have been working tirelessly to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part by continuing to follow the guidelines, and remember that we’re all in this together, and to support one another”.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, the Health Department urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19:
- Stay home as much as possible
- Especially stay home when sick
- Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet)
- Wear a mask when out in public
- Avoid contact with persons that you know are sick
- Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow; or use a tissue and throw in trash)
- Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing)
- If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners
Continued use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases in our community.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC, NCDHHS and Avery County Health Department. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7).