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BOONE — An additional Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), AppHealthCare announced on April 13.

"This case has known travel history and is recovering. This case is in isolation outside of the state. The local health department staff have identified close contacts who are in quarantine," stated AppHealthCare, the regional public health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties.

This brings the total positive case count to eight among Watauga County residents, plus a traveler who is isolating in Watauga County.

“We extend our well wishes to this resident and wish them a speedy recovery,” stated Jennifer Greene, health director of AppHealthCare.

Additional requirements outlined by Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 131 announced on April 9 will require retail stores to implement new social distancing policies, make earlier COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing homes and issue changes to speed up certain benefit payments to those out of work. A frequently asked questions document for this executive order can be found at

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

An increasing positive case count is only part of the picture because most people who become sick can follow the current public health guidelines to call their health care provider. In most cases, people who become ill may not be tested and will isolate themselves at home, AppHealthCare said.

"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," AppHealthCare stated.

The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services has released expanded data for North Carolina, which includes demographics of confirmed positive cases, hospitalization data and personal protective equipment requested and received from the Strategic National Stockpile. The data can be found at

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. Questions from agencies requesting support on COVID-19 response, planning efforts, etc. can contact

How to Protect Yourself & Others

  • Practice social distancing: avoiding gatherings, keep 6 feet or more away from others and remain at home as much as possible.
  • Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds.
  • 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, light switches, tables and handles.
  • People at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

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

If You Are Sick

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • If you become ill, call your health care provider or call AppHealthCare to speak with a public health staff member before going to your provider or the emergency room.
  • N.C. DHHS currently recommends that “most people do not need testing for COVID-19. If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, please call your health care provider.”

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