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BOONE — On Wednesday, April 8, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System was notified by AppHealthCare, the health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties, that an ARHS employee who had recently traveled has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to ARHS, the employee did not provide direct patient care, has been in quarantine and is recovering at home.

"Additionally, ARHS has been working with the health department to identify other staff who may have been in contact with the employee who tested positive," ARHS announced. "Each of these employees has also self-quarantined."

The county of residence of the employee or facility they worked at was not immediately disclosed by ARHS.

“As a health care organization operating in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, we take very seriously our commitment to preserving protected health information and respecting the privacy of individuals infected by the virus," said Rob Hudspeth, ARHS senior vice resident.

"ARHS will continue to work closely with AppHealthCare and local, state and national health officials to ensure we are taking the strongest possible precautions to keep employees and patients safe," the system stated.

For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System's COVID-19 response, visit https://apprhs.org/covid19.

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