ASHE COUNTY — With a drop to 13 active cases and 31 individuals being monitored, Ashe County has shifted from orange to yellow in the North Carolina community spread map given by the Department of Health and Human Services.

AppHealthCare has continued to report on surrounding counties with 95 active cases in Watauga County, totaling 4,281. Alleghany has 11 active cases with a total 948. Within the three counties, cases have totaled to 7,285 with 80 COVID-19 related deaths.

NCDHHS reported 874,906 total cases in North Carolina as of noon on March 8. 10,562,491 tests have been completed since the beginning of the pandemic and Ashe County has seen a slight rise in testing after the week of Feb. 20, according to AppHealthCare.

Worldwide, 117,304,102 cases have been reported by John Hopkins University & Medicine. The deaths have totaled to 2,603,233 with 524,169 of those being in the United States alone.

As of March 3, phase 3 has been activated, allowing frontline essential workers to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“With three approved COVID-19 vaccines now available, it is important to note that each vaccine is safe and effective and has been studied in clinical trials. We have full confidence in these vaccines and hope people will take the vaccine that is offered to them when it’s their turn. The news of a third vaccine provides more hope, and we are very glad to have more vaccines available to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” stated Jennifer Greene, health director at AppHealthCare.

AppHealthCare reported 4,800 total first doses have been received as of March 5 with 4,040 of those being already administered. Second doses have totaled 2,210 and 2,080 have been given.

Having moved into the yellow stage, Ashe has seen significant community spread, lowering from substantial in the past two weeks.

The health department is encouraging those interested to fill out a COVID-19 vaccine interest form which can be found on AppHealthCare’s website: www.apphealthcare.com.

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.

The full text of Executive Order No. 188 may be viewed by visiting https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO188-Extension-of-Modified-Stay-at-Home-Order.pdf.

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