Second Watauga County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Published Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 5:03 pm

A second Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This case was exposed to a known positive case. They have been in quarantine and are recovering. The local public health staff has identified close contacts, who are in quarantine.

“We have been preparing to see more positive cases of COVID-19 in our community and our staff and other agencies have been working to protect the public’s health. We want to encourage the public to practice social distancing and take prevention measures like frequent handwashing, staying home when you’re sick, and keeping distance from others who are sick. Keeping our community healthy is our top priority, and we will work to keep the community informed,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

AppHealthCare is working closely with local partners and agencies to ensure the public’s health is protected and precautions are being taken to protect all residents of Watauga County.

“We continue to work closely with AppHealthCare, stakeholders and local agencies to protect our community’s health. The partnerships in our community are important, and we remain confident in public health’s ability to lead this effort,” stated Deron Geouque, Watauga County Manager.

We understand that people are going to have questions and we encourage the public to call us or their local provider if they are ill and believe they may need care.

We want to remind the public to share credible, reliable information and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your cough and sneeze, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Staying home when you’re sick and don’t send sick children to school
  • Keeping distance from others who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles

“We want to continue to encourage the community to not use the hospital emergency room unless it is a true emergency. We need to preserve our local hospital capacity to respond throughout this event to meet the various healthcare needs that require urgent action in our community,” said Greene.

We would like to remind the community to please be aware that you may hear about people who have been instructed by their healthcare provider to self-isolate since they have been tested for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This does not mean that they have tested positive, it means that they are being guided to stay home until a test result is provided. This is a standard procedure for managing public health outbreaks.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop a fever, symptoms of respiratory illness or think you may have COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider. Call ahead before you go to a healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms so they can be prepared.

Those at higher risk for severe illness include:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
  • Weakened immune systems.

AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call (828) 264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community and will work to keep the public informed. Please visit our website for more information – www.AppHealthCare.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Questions from agencies requesting support on COVID-19 response, planning efforts, etc. can contact [email protected]. Media inquiries can be directed to [email protected].

We will maintain a positive case count on our website at www.AppHealthCare.com.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at  cdc.gov/coronavirus.

North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. To view the case count for North Carolina, including a county map, please visit the NC DHHS website here.

A COVID-19 toll free helpline has been set up to answer general, non-emergent questions at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

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