BOONE — AppHealthCare has confirmed and is continuing to investigate cases of COVID-19 among Goodnight Brothers employees. To date, there have been 15 confirmed cases, the health department stated on July 13.
"We have worked closely with Goodnight Brothers to coordinate and offer testing to all employees and review existing safety protocols in place to protect employees," AppHealthCare stated. "This type of response testing is needed to determine how far the virus has spread and prevent further transmission."
Bill Goodnight, general manager of Goodnight Brothers, said that employees who have been identified as confirmed cases are not working and are isolating at home until they are released by public health.
“Goodnight Brothers is a USDA-inspected facility producing a product that is 'not ready to eat,'" Goodnight said. "Many of the employee-driven protocols as well as the cleaning procedures were already in place prior to developing our relationship with AppHealthCare. The additional expertise provided by our new partners has proven very beneficial by giving us enhanced cleaning and infection preventing protocols, which will help to prevent further spread of COVID-19. We are committed to protecting our community and will follow guidance from AppHealthCare in order to do our part to slow the spread of this virus."
COVID-19 spreads most commonly through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes and is in close contact with others, AppHealthCare stated.
"When there is a confirmed case in a work setting like Goodnight Brothers, we want to work quickly to test everyone since the virus can spread easily in these environments due to people working in close proximity to others," AppHealthCare stated.
Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare director, said, “We are grateful for Goodnight Brothers’ partnership and appreciate their support and involvement in assisting with the contact investigation and testing. We are continuing to work together to implement control measures to limit further spread of the virus. Since we know community transmission is occurring, exposure can happen at various locations where individuals have close contact.
"We urge everyone to practice kindness and think of others by practicing the 3Ws when leaving your home — wear a face covering, wait at least six feet from others and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer,” Greene added.
AppHealthCare shared the following ways that people can protect against COVID-19:
- Wear a cloth face covering
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
- Wait at least 6 feet from others
- Stay home when you’re sick
- Keep distance from others who are sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid crowded areas
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles.
AppHealthCare's COVID-19 call center is available to take COVID-19-related calls during regular business hours. Call (828) 795-1970, and you can also email questions to email@example.com.
AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach the health department, call Watauga at (828) 264-4995, Ashe at (336) 246-9449 or Alleghany at (336) 372-5641 anytime and follow the prompts. For more information, visit www.AppHealthCare.com and follow on Facebook or Twitter.