Last Updated on February 12, 2022 7:05 pm
Boone, NC – Additional Watauga County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of identified cases among Watauga County residents to 11.
One individual is an employee of Appalachian State University whose last day on campus was March 20th and the other is a subcontracted worker who last worked on campus May 13th. These individuals have fully cooperated with isolation instructions and are recovering at home. Public health staff have identified close contacts, and they are in quarantine and are being provided access to testing during their quarantine period.
“As testing guidance continues to expand, we expect to see additional cases. It remains important for each person in the community to do their part to slow the spread of this virus. If you leave your home, follow the three Ws and wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. These are important actions we can all take to protect ourselves and each other. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare to discuss your symptoms to determine whether testing would be appropriate,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.
Since the Watauga confirmed case count has exceeded 10, we will now be transitioning our reporting to our website dashboard case count as we continue having additional cases, instead of issuing press releases for individual cases. However, if there is a need to release information specific to a confirmed case, we will do that in order to protect public health. Data can be found on our website dashboard and will be updated regularly.
App State will continue to keep the university community informed about verified, positive cases with potential to impact university students, faculty and staff. The latest updates regarding App State’s response to COVID-19 may be found at appstate.edu/coronavirus.
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
● Cover your cough or sneeze
● 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
● Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people like grocery stores or pharmacies – more information about face coverings can be found on the AppHealthCare website.
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms.
● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
● Repeated shaking with chills
● Muscle pain
● Sore throat
● New loss of taste or smell
People at high risk include anyone who:
● Is 65 years of age or older
● Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
● Has 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.
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services has issued updated testing guidance to allow a clinician to test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected. At this time, we want to prioritize testing for the following populations:
● Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
● Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms
● Anyone at higher risk of exposure or at higher risk for severe disease, regardless of symptoms, to include:
○ Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (long term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farm worker camp)
○ Persons who are at higher risk of severe illness
○ People who come from historically marginalized populations
○ Healthcare workers or first responders
○ Front line and essential workers in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
For testing, call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare. Please do not just show up to a healthcare provider without calling first. This will help your provider prepare should you need to be tested and lessen the potential exposure to others. AppHealthCare will serve anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. As is our usual day-to-day practice, a patient will not be turned away due to inability to pay.
Members of the App State community who are concerned about symptoms they might be experiencing can contact Student Health Service at (828) 262-3100 or AppHealthCare at (828) 264-4995.
If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Managing Your Overall Health
During this time, it is important to manage your overall health. There are resources available if you need to reduce anxiety or stress, are experiencing suicidal thoughts, need to better manage chronic conditions and more. Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
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. AppHealthCare has set up a COVID-19 hotline at 1+ (828) 795-1970 for information during regular business hours. 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@example.com.
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.
App State has a dedicated website about its response to COVID-19.
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.”