Social Distancing in the High Country Remains Key to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published Friday, March 27, 2020 at 4:22 pm

This famous swimming hole on the Watauga River near Hound Ears had close to 100 people playing in the water on Friday afternoon.

By Nathan Ham

Social distancing is still the most important practice to follow to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. While some people may not be taking things as seriously as they should, positive COVID-19 tests continue to pop up across the state, including the first positive case in nearby Alleghany County, one of three counties with health departments operated by AppHealthCare. 

“We understand that social distancing and staying at home is a difficult thing to do, especially when we are not able to know a definite time when our lives will return to normal but these are important things to do for the public’s health. With the beautiful weather weekend coming up, we encourage people to continue practicing social distancing and taking preventative measures to slow the spread of this virus and use good judgment,” said Melissa Bracey, Director of Communications and Compliance at AppHealthCare. “If you need to get out in your own yard and enjoy the sunshine, that is fine to do. We want people to avoid gathering in groups but walking around and playing in your own yard while keeping a distance from others, is good to do if you’re able.”

Testing supplies in the High Country are still limited at this time, so preventing mass community spread is essential. According to AppHealthCare, Watauga County currently has 98 test kits while Ashe County has 78 and Alleghany County 71. 

Testing numbers as of March 27

Alleghany County

The number of COVID-19 tests collected today by AppHealthCare for Alleghany County is 0. To date, AppHealthCare has collected 5 tests for Alleghany County.

The number of COVID-19 tests collected from outside agencies and reported to AppHealthCare to date is 14 for Alleghany County.

At this time, there is one positive case of COVID-19 for Alleghany County.

Ashe County

The number of COVID-19 tests collected today by AppHealthCare for Ashe County is 0. To date, AppHealthCare has collected 4 tests for Ashe County. 

The number of COVID-19 tests collected from outside agencies and reported to AppHealthCare to date is 25 for Ashe County.

At this time, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 for Ashe County.

Watauga County

The number of COVID-19 tests collected today by AppHealthCare for Watauga County is 4. To date, AppHealthCare has collected 67 tests for Watauga County. 

The number of COVID-19 tests collected from outside agencies and reported to AppHealthCare to date is 140 for Watauga County.

At this time, there are 5 positive cases of COVID-19 for Watauga County.

As a reminder, a positive case count will be updated on our website (www.AppHealthCare.com) and the public will be notified.

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