Coronavirus/COVID-19News

AppHealthCare COVID-19 Response Changes

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Last Updated on March 24, 2022 9:36 am

As we have learned more about COVID-19 over the past two years and now have more tools available to prevent and treat this virus, we are continuing to adapt our strategy to respond based on the latest data and science. We are shifting our response efforts, specifically with testing and data, to align with public health needs and prioritizing our efforts knowing we have the tools to prevent severe outcomes due to COVID-19.

“We know these past two years have been full of change which has been challenging for all of us. Through the change, we remain committed to protecting the public’s health and following the latest data and science to guide our decisions and recommendations. The changes we are making to testing and data sharing reflect alignment with the current phase of response and the expanded tools we have available to respond to COVID-19. We will continue to monitor and track COVID-19, as we do with many other reportable communicable diseases. While we do this, it is still very important we utilize our community healthcare resources wisely. Please, do not visit the hospital Emergency Department for COVID testing and call us if you need assistance finding a COVID test, a vaccine, or treatment options,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

COVID-19 Testing

Beginning Friday, April 1, 2022, the AppHealthCare COVID-19 testing process will change to respond to the current state of COVID-19 and it will be incorporated into routine patient care for AppHealthCare Ashe and Alleghany locations. Effective on this date, drive-thru testing for Ashe and Alleghany locations will no longer be offered. If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms and need a COVID-19 test, please call AppHealthCare at (828) 795-1970 to schedule a sick visit. If you have insurance, your insurance will be billed. If you are uninsured or unable to pay, we offer a sliding fee discount program and payment plans.

If you need a COVID-19 test for a work or travel requirement, an at-home test kit will be offered to you, while supplies last. The at-home test kits are free. For additional testing options, visit NC DHHS Find COVID-19 Tests website.

For the AppHealthCare Watauga location, the testing process will remain the same, and will continue to partner with StarMed to offer free drive-thru testing which is made possible through a partnership with NC DHHS. As long as this partnership is in place with the state, we will continue to offer this testing method in Watauga. Watauga testing is open to anyone and you don’t have to be a resident of Watauga
County to be tested. Testing in Watauga is offered Monday through Friday 8:30-10:00am. No
appointment is needed but pre-registration is required. To pre-register, visit StarMed.care.

In order to protect healthcare resources, please do not go to the hospital Emergency Department for just COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 Data

Effective Friday, April 1st, the AppHealthCare data dashboard will no longer include individual case data
(cumulative case count, new cases and deaths) and will shift to focus on key metrics that better help us
understand the current situation and monitor data to prevent severe illness. We will link directly to the
NC DHHS data dashboard and align with the 7 key metrics outlined in the NC DHHS Moving Forward
Together plan
– wastewater surveillance, COVID like illness, hospital admissions, COVID-19 cases,
booster rates, prevalence of variants and the CDC COVID-19 Community Level.

Effective Friday, April 1st, the COVID-19 Situation Updates will be published monthly on the first Friday
of each month. If we see more frequent updates are needed for public health needs, we will adjust the
timing.

COVID-19 Vaccines & Boosters
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are safe and effective and provide the best tool to prevent severe
outcomes like severe illness, hospitalization and death. If you are eligible for a booster, it will increase
your immune response and extend your protection against severe illness. AppHealthCare offers COVID-
19 vaccines and boosters by appointment Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment for a
vaccine or booster, call AppHealthCare at (828) 795-1970.

For more information about COVID-19, visit AppHealthCare.com or call the AppHealthCare COVID-19
Call Center at (828) 795-1970 during the hours of 8:00-4:45pm.

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