Two More Cases of COVID-19 Identified in Watauga

Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 6:08 pm

Additional positive cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) have been identified for Watauga County.  A Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 which brings the total positive cases of COVID-19 in Watauga County to 6. This case had travel history and contact investigation is underway.

In addition to the sixth Watauga resident, there is an additional case of a person whose primary residence is outside the area that has been identified, which is currently in isolation in Watauga County. Public health staff have identified the close contacts, who have been in quarantine.

Both at the state and local level, positive cases of COVID-19 are represented and counted in a person’s place of residence. COVID-19 is a required, reportable illness to public health and we work closely with healthcare providers to ensure we are informed of cases.

We want to remind people to follow Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Executive Order to stay home except for essential trips. We especially want to urge people who are at higher risk for severe illness to stay home to the greatest extent possible.

An increasing positive case count is only part of the picture since most people who become sick can follow the current public health guidelines to call their healthcare provider. In most cases, people who become ill may not be tested and will isolate themselves at home. For these reasons, it is important for people to stay home as much as possible to decrease your chance of infection, and reduce the spread and impact in our community.

“Our public health staff are working diligently to identify and notify any close contacts to a positive case, as it is our usual practice in infectious disease investigations. Close contacts are quarantined and guidance is provided to them to decrease their chance of infection and decrease spread in the community. Since a positive case count is only part of the picture, we urge people to stay home to the greatest extent possible, practice social distancing and prevention measures like washing your hands, covering your cough and sneeze and staying home if you are sick,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Practice social distancing which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keeping 6 feet or more between you and others and remaining at home to the greatest extent possible
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Keep distance from others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles

 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you become ill, please call your healthcare provider or call AppHealthCare to speak with a public health staff member before going to your provider or the emergency room.

Testing

Based on recommendations issued by the NC Department of Health & Human Services, most people do not need testing for COVID-19. When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, please call your healthcare provider.

 

People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Have a high-risk condition that includes:

○        Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

○        Heart disease with complications

○        Compromised immune system

○        Severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher

○        Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

 

People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.

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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