RALEIGH — North Carolina's COVID-19 confirmed case count rose to 21,151 as of 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The newspaper reported that 745 people have died from the virus statewide.
On May 21, AppHealthCare reported that the total number of active cases in Ashe County is 25. 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 32 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.
AppHealthCare also posted guidance on their website for community members to consider as the state enters Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan on the evening of Friday, May 22.
How to Protect Yourself
● Practice the 3Ws if you have to leave your house - wear a cloth face covering, wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer and wait 6 feet from others.
● Cover your cough or sneeze
● Keep distance from others who are sick
● Avoid touching your face
● Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles
● If you are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 20,910 laboratory confirmed cases statewide with 578 currently hospitalized with the virus as of 11 a.m. May 21. NCDHHS also reported 716 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, 1,575,064 people had tested positive with the virus according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine as of 6:32 a.m. on May 21. The university also reported that there have been 94,661 deaths in the U.S. and 332,425 deaths and over 5 million confirmed cases globally.
NCDHHS reported on May 21 that 290,645 tests for COVID-19 had been conducted statewide by the State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial labs. As of May 21, AppHealthCare, the health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties, reported that to date, it had collected a total of 60 tests and outside agencies had collected 155 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 21, 21 individuals were actively being monitored.
Twelve people have tested positive for the virus in Watauga, according to AppHealthCare.
Two new Watauga cases announced May 19 have ties to Appalachian State University. One is an employee of Appalachian whose last day on campus was March 20, and the other is a subcontracted worker who last worked on campus May 13, according to AppHealthCare, the health department for Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties.
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.