ASHE COUNTY — In its weekly COVID-19 situation update on Friday, Nov. 13, AppHealthCare reported an increase in active cases and quarantines from Nov. 1-7 in Ashe County.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 17, there are 77 active cases in Ashe according to AppHealthCare, with a further 184 individuals being monitored and a cumulative case count of 747. There has been 15 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Ashe County according to AppHealthCare.

“These data points are beginning to trend in the wrong direction and we are continuing to see an increase in cases for Ashe County. The largest percentage of cases are occurring in the 25-49 year old age group,” AppHealthCare’s situation update read.

“Unfortunately, this week there have been four deaths associated with COVID-19 for Ashe County. This tragic news is a reminder that this virus can have serious consequences and it remains critical for everyone to diligently practice prevention measures like the 3Ws. Each life in our community is important and valued and the actions we all take will help protect each of us.”

Outside of Ashe, AppHealthCare has reported 134 active cases and 16 deaths in Watauga County and 18 active cases and two deaths in Alleghany County. Across the state, there have been 4,852 deaths, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

North Carolina had 317,495 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of noon on Tuesday, Nov. 17, according to the NCDHHS. This is more than 20,000 more cases than the same time a week earlier.

According to AppHealthCare’s situation update, 21 staff members and 41 residents have tested positive at Forest Ridge Assisted Living as of Nov. 13. The outbreak at Forest Ridge has seen eight deaths.

AppHealthCare is continuing case investigation and contact tracing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you receive a call from a member of the case investigation or contact tracing team, AppHealthCare urges you to cooperate and provide information that will help conduct response efforts. Calls will be from (844) 628-7223 or (828) 264-4995. It may also show up as “NC Outreach” or “Contact Tracing.”

AppHealthCare encourages citizens to remember the three W’s: wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.

North Carolina moved into Phase 3 of the statewide reopening plan beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. Phase 3 was scheduled to end Oct. 23, however N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Oct. 21 that it would be extended by three weeks, pointing to case numbers’ continued rise.

Cooper announced Nov. 10 that the indoor mass gathering limit would be lowered to 10 people until Friday, Dec. 4.

“This reduction in our indoor gathering limit aims to slow the spread and bring down our numbers,” Cooper said. “It also sends a serious signal to families, friends and neighbors across our state. Success in slowing the spread will help our businesses.”

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