The following COVID-19 information is compiled from local and state agencies from April 20 to April 27. This weekly update will present the latest COVID-19 information as of publication.
Watauga County experienced an increase of 21 total COVID-19 cases since April 20 to reach 4,624 total cases as of April 27. The active case count has dipped slightly during the course of the week with 21 total active cases — down four from last week — as of April 27.
AppHealthCare reported no new deaths in the week of April 20 to April 27 with the last reported death on Feb. 16.
As of April 27, AppHealthCare reported 144 people have been hospitalized — up one from last week — since the pandemic started in its three-county district that also includes Ashe and Alleghany counties.
AppHealthCare reported four active clusters in Watauga County in its last situation update April 23. In its COVID-19 situation report, AppHealthCare reported clusters at:
- App State Raven Rocks Residence Hall with 15 total cases. The last positive came on March 29, and as of the last report zero cases are active.
- App State Thunder Hill Residence Hall with 18 total cases. The last positive result came on March 31, and as of the last report zero cases are active.
- Cottages of Boone with 19 total cases. The last positive result came on March 29, and as of the last report zero cases are active.
- University Highlands with 18 cumulative cases. The last positive result came on March 28, and as of the last report one case is active.
As of April 26, Appalachian State University has had 548 students and 46 employees test positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 1, 2021. Seven students were active as of April 26.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports Watauga County has administered 21,369 first dose COVID-19 vaccines as of April 26 — up by a little more than 200 from April 19. NCDHHS also reports 18,056 people have completed the vaccine series in Watauga County — up nearly 1,000 from April 19.
As of April 26, roughly 38 percent of the population in Watauga County has been at least partially vaccinated and about 32.1 percent — up about 2 percent from last week — of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to NCDHHS.
As of April 26, App State has administered nearly 4,152 vaccines to faculty, staff, students and community members. App State will host another vaccine clinic on April 29. The clinic will administer the Moderna vaccine, which is approved for adults ages 18 and older.
State COVID-19 update
NCDHHS announced April 22 the Bringing Summer Back get-out-the-vaccine campaign that will engage community organizations across the state to fully vaccinate as many people as possible by summer.
To date, more than 3.6 million adults in North Carolina have been vaccinated with at least one dose. While the state has made great progress in helping people schedule and get to their vaccine appointments, more than half of the adult population is still completely unvaccinated, putting them at higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
Being fully vaccinated means getting back to hugging loved ones who are also fully vaccinated, gathering with fully vaccinated friends and family and going to small indoor gatherings with less worry. Getting the majority of North Carolina’s adults vaccinated by summer means getting back to the summer activities we all love — like backyard gatherings with families and friends, public fireworks, outdoor festivals or parades — all without wearing masks.
The Bringing Summer Back campaign is a community-centered approach that creates a space for every organization and individual to roll up their sleeves and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and get everyone back to the people and places they love. The campaign will run during two weeks in May (May 9–15 and May 16–21) and two weeks in June (June 6–12 and June 20–26), during which organizations across the state will rally together to promote vaccination.
Organizations can get involved in a number of ways:
- Organize volunteer days: Invite members, volunteers and others to participate in a day(s) of phone banking, door knocking or other forms of outreach to the communities they serve.
Distribute resources: Notify communities about efforts to help people get COVID-19 vaccine appointments through emails, social media or other creative ways.
- Host a get-out-the-vaccine challenge: Create friendly competition. See who can reach out to the most people via phone, door knocking, social media or other ways. Offer an incentive to get people motivated and involved.
- Get creative: Come up with an approach to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Organizations that would like to get involved can register to participate and access toolkit materials at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/BringSummerBack (Spanish: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/Devueltaalverano) or by emailing BringingSummerBack@dhhs.nc.gov.
The toolkit offers simple, specific steps everyone can take to navigate people to an appointment, such as calling loved ones who haven’t been vaccinated yet, sharing their experience on social media and asking if anyone needs support in getting vaccinated.