BOONE — Watauga Medical Center is nearing a pandemic high of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.
As of Sept. 15, WMC has 23 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The pandemic high is 28 people who were hospitalized with COIVD-19 at one time, which was in December before vaccines were readily available to the public. WMC had zero COVID-19 patients in May.
"The continuing rising numbers are cause for concern," said said Rob Hudspeth, senior vice president of system advancement for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.
Of the 23 patients, 16 of them are not vaccinated. On Sept. 10, WMC had three COVID-19 patients die, Hudspeth said. The hospital serves community members from Watauga, Avery and Ashe as well as other neighboring counties.
As of Sept. 15, AppHealthCare reports 104 community members in Watauga County are active with COVID-19 and 35 Watauga County residents have died from the virus.
AppHealthCare reports 61 people in the county are being monitored.