RALEIGH — North Carolina's COVID-19 confirmed case count rose to 19,161 as of 5 p.m. Monday, May 18, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The newspaper reported that 693 people have died from the virus statewide.
On May 18, AppHealthCare reported that the total number of active cases in Ashe County is 22. According to AppHealthCare, active cases are defined as the number of individuals who are currently isolated in Ashe County. The COVID-19 positive case count, which is a cumulative case count since testing began, is 27 for Ashe County.
According to the local health department, one individual is an employee of Appalachian State University. The individual has fully cooperated with isolation instructions and is recovering at home. Public health staff have identified close contacts, and they are in quarantine. The additional cases are linked to an ongoing investigation with a known outbreak in a food processing facility in another county and contact investigation for these cases is underway.
“As we enter into Phase One of the Governor’s plan for easing restrictions, we want to reiterate the importance of everyone protecting themselves from this virus. If you leave your home, follow the three Ws and wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. These are important actions we can all take to protect ourselves and each other. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare to discuss your symptoms to determine whether testing would be appropriate,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director at AppHealthCare.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 19,023 laboratory confirmed cases statewide with 511 currently hospitalized with the virus as of 11 a.m. May 18. NCDHHS also reported 661 deaths statewide. In the information updated daily on its website, NCDHHS has not been providing a count of persons statewide who have recovered from the virus.
The numbers reported by the newspaper, which is compiling the numbers of cases announced by counties throughout the day, vary from the daily reports provided by NCDHHS.
Nationwide, 1,490,195 people had tested positive with the virus according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine as of 11 a.m. on May 18. The university also reported that there have been 89,636 deaths in the U.S. and 315,822 deaths and over 4.7 million confirmed cases globally.
NCDHHS reported on May 18 that 255,755 tests for COVID-19 had been conducted statewide by the State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial labs. As of May 18, AppHealthCare, the health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties, reported that to date, it had collected a total of 51 tests and outside agencies had collected 137 tests in Ashe County.
On May 8, AppHealthCare also began listing the number of individuals being monitored in each county. For Ashe County on May 14, 24 individuals were actively being monitored.
Nine county residents and one traveler have tested positive for the virus in Watauga, according to AppHealthCare. The most recent confirmed case was announced on April 29. According to the release, the case is in isolation outside of Watauga County and has been during the infectious period that would have posed risk to the Watauga community. The local health department staff have identified close contacts who are in quarantine.
Eleven cases have been confirmed in Alleghany County, according to AppHealthCare.
AppHealthCare spokesperson Melissa Bracey said that as of April 22, the department was not aware that any of those patients were severely ill, and none have required hospitalization.
Caldwell County leads surrounding counties in numbers of confirmed cases with 26 as of April 23, while Wilkes has reported 21 cases and one death and Avery has reported no positive tests, according to the News & Observer. In Tennessee, Johnson County has three confirmed cases and Carter County has 12 confirmed cases, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.