ASHE COUNTY — As the COVID-19 pandemic heads into a new surge, Ashe County sees 73 active cases as of Dec. 13 with 171 in quarantine.

On Dec. 13, AppHealthCare reported that Ashe County had 73 active cases, 171 in quarantine, a total of 3,616 cases and 65 deaths, increasing from 62 in just the past few weeks. Watauga had 50 active, 70 in quarantine, 6,385 total and 42 deaths. Alleghany County is also seeing a spike in cases with 70 active, 96 individuals in quarantine, 1,821 cumulative cases and seven deaths.

During the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, Ashe County Schools reported that there were 20 student positive cases and four staff positive cases.

In the Dec. 10 situation update, AppHealthCare introduced a new aspect of their findings with a “COVID-19 Data At-a-Glance” which stated that from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, Ashe had 82 new cases. 85.4 percent of those individual positives were reported as unvaccinated. The positivity rate is now 17.67 percent, deaths have reached 65, regional hospitalizations have increased and the vaccination rate for Ashe County has reached 55 percent. AppHealthCare has administered 15,078 vaccine doses alone in Ashe County as of Dec. 9.

“As of Dec. 9, Ashe County has a HIGH level of community transmission,” said AppHealthCare. “In levels of high or substantial transmission, it is recommended individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to decrease the spread of the virus. The majority of COVID-19 cases are among those who are unvaccinated.”

In regard to recent variants, AppHealthCare stated tat the dominant variant remains the Delta Variant. At the time of release, there has been one confirmed case of the Omicron variant in Charlotte. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the Omicron has been labeled as a variant of concern which means its transmissibility, severity and activity is being closely monitored. It is suspected this variant may be more transmissible given how quickly it has spread and become the dominant variant in South Africa.

The CDC stated during the week of Dec. 6 that they have expanded its recommendation for booster vaccines to include everyone ages 16 years and older. Teens 16 or 17 years old can only receive the Pfizer booster.

AppHealthCare continues to offer testing and vaccinations at each of their clinic locations. For testing, they offer the service by drive-thru Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. For vaccines, you can make an appointment by calling (828) 795-1970 or walk in Monday to Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. Boosters are only offered by appointment.

Ages five to 11 in Ashe are now 12 percent vaccinated, ages 12-17 are 30 percent vaccinated, 18-24 is at 46 percent, 25-49 has 53 percent, 50-64 is 62 percent vaccinated, 65-74 has a rate of 74 percent and ages 75 and up are at 78 percent.

An outbreak was reported at the Ashe County Detention Center on Nov. 29 with two cases total. There is one active case at the time of publication.

NCDHHS reported on Dec. 13 that there has been a total of 1,575,222 cases in North Carolina. There were 1,550 individuals hospitalized at the time of the report.

Globally, as of Dec. 13, there have been 269,468,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,304,248 deaths, reported to WHO. They also reported that a total of 8,200,642,671 vaccine doses have been administered.

For more information on COVID-19, call AppHealthCare at (336) 246-9449 or visit www.apphealthcare.com.

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