Active cases

The active COVID-19 case trend in Watauga County as of Oct. 19.

The following COVID-19 information is compiled from local and state agencies from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19.

Cases

Watauga County has reached 5,871 total cases as of Oct. 19 — an increase of 81 cases from last week. The active case count has stayed similar during the course of the week with 75 active cases as of Oct. 19.

AppHealthCare reported no new deaths from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19. AppHealthCare reported one death on Sept. 17 and one death on Sept. 20 to bring the total deaths due to COVID-19 among Watauga County residents to 37.

The Triad HealthCare Preparedness Coalition region — which includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Caldwell, Catawba, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin — reports 420 people are hospitalized, with 109 of those in the ICU as of Oct. 18.

AppHealthCare reported seven active clusters in Watauga County as of its last situation update on Oct. 15. In its COVID-19 situation report, AppHealthCare reported clusters at:

  • Hospitality House with seven cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Sept. 22, and as of the last report zero cases were active.
  • The App State baseball team with 10 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Sept. 23, and as of the last report zero cases were active.
  • Watauga County Detention Center with seven cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Sept. 20, and as of the last report zero cases were active.
  • Thunder Hill Residence Hall with 15 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 13, and as of the last report one case was active.
  • The Standard at Boone with 10 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 12, and as of the last report one case was active.
  • The Cottages of Boone with 11 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 5, and as of the last report one case was active.
  • The App State wrestling team with 10 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Sept. 13, and as of the last report zero cases were active.

The App State COVID-19 dashboard reports 14 active COVID-19 cases among students and eight among employees as of Oct. 18. For the week ending on Oct. 18, 1,428 COVID-19 tests were conducted with 29 — or 2 percent — coming back positive. Since Aug. 1, the university has conducted 15,924 on-campus COVID-19 tests with 535 — or 3.4 percent — coming back positive.

Vaccines

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports Watauga County has administered 31,591 — up 70 from last week — first dose COVID-19 vaccines as of Oct. 18. NCDHHS also reports 29,459 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County — up approximately 120 from last week — as of Oct. 18.

As of Oct. 19, 56 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and about 52 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.

App State reports 64 percent of students are vaccinated and 94 percent of employees are vaccinated as of Oct. 11.

State update

RALEIGH – NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for her work in creating a strategic alignment to bring about critical improvements in health.

“We have a top-notch leader in Secretary Cohen who puts the health, safety and wellbeing of all North Carolinians above all else,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Secretary Cohen has helped accomplish great improvements in our Medicaid system, our public’s health, and behavioral health and human services, all while working closely with me to lead our charge through this pandemic. She represents the epitome of what it means to serve our state.”

In her election, NAM cited Secretary Cohen “for creating a strategic alignment of Medicaid, public health, and behavioral health and human services designed to bring about critical improvements in health during her tenure as North Carolina’s secretary of health and human services.”

NAM elects no more than 90 regular members and 10 international members annually. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current members through a process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

“It’s a tremendous honor to join the National Academy of Medicine and be recognized for our work in North Carolina to knit together our communities and our health care system,” Secretary Cohen said. “This honor recognizes the work of the entire NCDHHS team and the Cooper administration who have prioritized the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians.”

Secretary Cohen has been recognized as a national leader for her work at NCDHHS. In February of 2019, Modern Healthcare named Secretary Cohen one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare. In September 2020, Secretary Cohen was awarded the Leadership in Public Health Practice Award from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health for her strong leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic response, including her use of data and ability to communicate with empathy, compassion and transparency.

Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, NAM is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (the National Academies) in the United States. Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology and health.

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