ASHE COUNTY — As positive cases of COVID-19 begin to die down, falling from 44 to 43 from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, Ashe is seeing declines in demand for testing and a lower positivity rate. However, another death has been reported by AppHealthCare marking the 56th Ashe County resident to die from COVID-19.

So far, there has been a total of 3,170 positive cases in Ashe alone. As of Oct. 1, there were 43 positive cases and 93 individuals directed to quarantine. In Watauga, there has been 5,807 cumulative cases, there are 91 currently positive, 89 in quarantine and a total of 37 deaths. Alleghany has been on the rise with 28 active cases as of Oct. 1, 28 in quarantine, seven deaths and a total of 1,499 positive cases since testing began.

During the week of Sept. 19 through the 24, Ashe County Schools reported 24 positive cases among students and six positive cases among staff.

AppHealthCare is continuing to offer COVID-19 testing by drive-thru Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at each of their clinic locations in Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga. No appointment is needed for testing.

They also offer COVID-19 vaccines by walk-in or appointment Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. If you choose to walk in for a vaccine, your wait time may be longer. To lessen your wait time, make an appointment by calling AppHealthCare’s COVID-19 call center at (828) 795-1970.

Booster doses are now available for those who have received the Pfizer vaccine within the last six months of completion. They are recommended for older adults ages 65 and up, residents living in long-term care facilities, adults ages 50-64 who are at a high risk of transmitting severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions. Ages 18-49 who are high risk should consider a booster based on assessment of their individual benefits and risks consulted by their medical provider. Adults who are ages 18-64 who are at increased risk for virus exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings may also receive a booster based on their benefits and risks.

Boosters are not yet available for those who have received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. AppHealthCare says they expect to have more information about them soon.

As of Oct. 1, Ashe has seen a 51 percentage rate of fully or partially vaccinated individuals. Nineteen percent is needed to reach their goal of 70. 49 percent remain unvaccinated.

AppHealthCare reported on Sept. 30 that they alone have administered 13,585 vaccine doses in Ashe County.

Since the Sept. 24 situation update, cases have lowered from 117 to 57, the positivity rate has dropped from 15.92 percent to 11.20 percent and the demand for COVID-19 tests have declined from 735 to 509.

In regards to a previous outbreak at Margate Health and Rehab Center, AppHealthCare announced that there are no active cases.

Cumulative cases were seven and the last positive test was received on Sept. 13.

NCDHHS reported that there have been a total of 1,400,217 positive cases since testing began in North Carolina. Over 4.9 thousand cases were reported on Oct. 1 alone. 2,882 were hospitalized as of Oct. 1.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Oct. 1 that there have been over 233.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide including 4.77 million deaths. As of Sept. 29, a total of 6.14 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.

To learn more about COVID-19, vaccines and testing, visit www.apphealthcare.com or call the Ashe location at (336) 246-9449.

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