BOONE — Watauga County’s COVID-19 cases among residents increased by 90 from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, according to AppHealthCare, the regional health department.

Of the 541 total cases among Watauga residents, AppHealthCare reported 76 active COVID-19 cases as of Sept. 1, with 121 additional people being monitored.

Appalachian State’s total case count increased by 56 during the same time period, from 198 cases on Aug. 24 to 254 cases on Sept. 1, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. As of Sept. 1, there were 46 active cases among students and one active case in an employee.

In its weekly Situation Update on Aug. 28, AppHealthCare reported an ongoing cluster at App State’s Child Development Center had 10 cases (four staff and six children) as of Aug. 28. A cluster at Glenbridge nursing facility in Boone had grown to 10 cases as of Aug. 28, with one staff member and nine residents listed as active cases.

“Watauga County continues to see an increase in new cases. Even though we are not seeing a large spike in cases, the number of newly identified and active cases remains higher than what we want to see,” AppHealthCare said in its weekly update.

“We all have the power to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this can be done by practicing the 3Ws, avoiding large gatherings and maintaining good hygiene practices,” said Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare health director. “Wear a cloth face covering anytime you will be around others who are not in your household or living space, wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer and wait at least 6 feet from others. This virus is highly contagious and sometimes people can spread the virus without realizing it because they have mild or no symptoms at all. These actions help protect everyone in our community and helps make sure we have the health care system capacity that we all depend on.”

Statewide, the total cases to date numbered 169,424 as of Sept. 1, with 2,741 COVID-19-related deaths to date, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Hospitalizations have been on a downward trend since July 22, when 1,280 people were hospitalized with the virus statewide. On Sept. 1, the number of people hospitalized with the virus was 946, according to NCDHHS.

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