Active cases

The graph above shows the active COVID-19 case trends in Watauga County as of Nov. 15.

The following COVID-19 information is compiled from local and state agencies from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.

Cases

Watauga County has reached 6,120 total COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 15 — an increase of 44 cases from the previous week. The active case count has dipped slightly during the course of the week with 57 active cases as of Nov. 15.

AppHealthCare reported one new death on Nov. 15 to bring the total 40 deaths. AppHealthCare also reported one death on Oct. 28 and one death on Nov. 1.

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 255 people are hospitalized, with 72 of those in the ICU as of Nov. 15.

AppHealthCare reported four active clusters in Watauga County as of its last situation update on Nov. 12. In its COVID-19 situation report, AppHealthCare reported clusters at:

  • Thunder Hill Residence Hall with 16 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 21, and as of the last report zero cases were active.
  • The Standard at Boone with 11 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 20, and as of the last report one case was active.
  • The Cottages of Boone with 15 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Nov. 3 and as of the last report one case was active.
  • The Watauga County Detention Center with 8 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on Oct. 23, and as of the last report zero cases were active.

The App State COVID-19 dashboard reports 10 active COVID-19 cases among students and two among employees as of Nov. 15. For the week ending on Nov. 15, 1,304 COVID-19 tests were conducted with eight — or 0.6 percent — coming back positive. Since Aug. 1, the university has conducted 21,751 on-campus COVID-19 tests with 585 — or 2.7 percent — coming back positive.

Vaccines

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports Watauga County has administered 32,502 first dose COVID-19 vaccines as of Nov. 15. NCDHHS also reports 29,999 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County — up approximately 113 from last week — as of Nov. 15.

As of Nov. 15, 58 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and 53 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.

App State reports 69 percent of students are vaccinated and 82 percent of employees are vaccinated as of Nov. 15.

State update

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Nov. 15 that Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plans will launch Dec. 1, 2022, instead of July 1, 2022.

Individuals who need certain services to address a serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, severe substance use disorder, intellectual or developmental disability or traumatic brain injury, may be eligible to enroll in a Behavioral Health I/DD Tailored Plan.

The updated implementation schedule recognizes community concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increased need for behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disabilities services, which has placed added pressures at the state, Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization and provider level. The updated implementation schedule will help balance the need to ensure a successful Tailored Plan launch with the imperative to provide current beneficiaries in the system high quality care.

NCDHHS’ goal remains to ensure a seamless and successful experience for LME/MCO beneficiaries, their families and advocates, providers and other stakeholders committed to improving the health of North Carolinians. Beneficiaries who are in NC Medicaid Direct or the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Option and receive enhanced behavioral health, intellectual or developmental disabilities or traumatic brain injury services from a current LME/MCO will continue to receive care in the same way until the Tailored Plans launch on Dec. 1, 2022. Providers will continue to prepare for the transition to Tailored Plans.

On July 26, NCDHHS announced the selection of seven organizations to serve as Behavioral I/DD Tailored Plans. For more information about Tailored Plans, see Behavioral Health I/DD Tailored Plans, visit medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/providers/programs-and-services/behavioral-health-idd/behavioral-health-idd-tailored-plan.

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