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BOONE — Testing guidance from N.C. Department of Health & Human Services has been updated to allow for more expansion of testing as the state continues to ease restrictions.

“The expanded testing will be important as we move through the phases of easing restrictions so we can identify confirmed cases, isolate them and quarantine close contacts,” stated Jennifer Greene, health director of AppHealthCare. “We encourage you to reach out to your health care provider or AppHealthCare if you think you should be tested.”

You should be tested if:

  • You believe you have symptoms of COVID-19,
  • You have no symptoms and you are at higher risk for severe illness (you are 65 or older, you have an underlying health condition or chronic condition), or have been in close contact with someone who is known to have a positive result,
  • You are someone working in a frontline role or essential business where social distancing is hard to maintain,
  • You are a first responder, law enforcement officer, fire department staff member, or health care staff member,
  • You live in or work in a facility where social distancing is hard to maintain, like congregate living, health care facilities or home care.

Testing Locations

  • AppHealthCare
  • (Appalachian District Health Department) – Testing is offered at each of the clinic locations in Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties. As is the health department’s usual day-to-day practice, no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. To schedule an appointment, call Alleghany (336) 372-5641, Ashe (336) 246-9449 and Watauga (828) 264-4995. For more information, visit

  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
  • (ARHS) – If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, ARHS primary care providers can determine if you meet the criteria for testing and help make an appointment at a testing location in Watauga or Avery County. To view information about testing and screening, visit

    • or call (828) 262-4100.
  • Appalachian State University Student Health Service
    • – App State students can schedule an appointment by calling (828) 262-3100.
  • Primary care providers
    • – There are primary care providers throughout the county who are providing testing. Call your health care provider to discuss testing options.

    As response efforts continue and as other state and federal resources are deployed, additional testing sites may be added for local communities. To view the testing locations by county across the state, visit the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services website at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/covid-19-testing-locations. This website will be updated regularly as more testing locations are added.

    Do not show up to a health care provider without calling first. This will help the provider prepare should you need to be tested and lessen the potential exposure to others. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

    How to Protect YourselfPractice the 3Ws if you have to leave your house – Wear a cloth face

    • covering, Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer and Wait 6 feet from others.
    • 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
    • If you are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.

    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.

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or diffi
    • culty breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell

    People at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 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

    Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

    Recently, a possible link has been found between COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease in some children and teenagers who have current or recent infections. MIS-C is a very rare condition but it is important for parents and caregivers of children to be aware of the common symptoms which can include:

    • Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater, lasting for several days
    • Irritability or decreased activity,
    • Abdominal pain without another explanation
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Rash
    • Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
    • Poor feeding
    • Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
    • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red.

    Call your child’s doctor immediately if they have a fever for several days and any of the above symptoms. For more information on MIS-C, visit the NCDHHS website or CDC website.

    AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach AppHealthCare, 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. For more info, visit www.AppHealthCare.com or follow the department on Facebook and Twitter.

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

    Data can be found on our website dashboard and will be updated regularly.

    Additional Resources

    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.

    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.”

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