A second Ashe County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), AppHealthCare announced April 7. This case was a close contact to someone with known travel history and is recovering at home.
The local health department staff have identified close contacts who are in quarantine. Contact investigation continues to identify people who are at highest risk and need to quarantine. AppHealthCare will not be releasing additional information about this case in order to protect patient privacy.
“We have been preparing to see more positive cases of COVID-19 in our community and our staff and other agencies have been working to protect the public’s health. It is very important that everyone continue to stay at home as much as possible, practice social distancing and take prevention measures like frequent handwashing, staying home when you’re sick, and keeping distance from others who are sick. Keeping our community healthy is our top priority, and we will work to keep the community informed while also protecting patient privacy,” said Jennifer Greene, health director, AppHealthCare.
“We are continuing to work closely with AppHealthCare, Ashe County Emergency Management and partner agencies to make sure the public’s health and safety is our focus. We encourage the community to get information from reliable and credible sources and not feed into rumors,” said Adam Stumb, Ashe County manager.
Both at the state and local level, positive cases of COVID-19 are represented and counted in a person’s place of residence. COVID-19 is a required, reportable illness to public health and we work closely with healthcare providers to ensure we are informed of cases. We have added a positive case count on our website, which will typically be updated once in the afternoon each day.
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services has released expanded data for North Carolina which includes demographics of confirmed positive cases, hospitalization data and personal protective equipment (PPE) requested and received from the Strategic National Stockpile. The data can be found here.
An increasing positive case count is only part of the picture since most people who become sick can follow the current public health guidelines to call their healthcare provider. In most cases, people who become ill may not be tested and will isolate themselves at home. For these reasons, it is important for people to stay home as much as possible to decrease your chance of infection, and reduce the spread and impact in our community.
How to Protect Yourself
- Practice social distancing which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keeping 6 feet or more between you and others and remaining at home to the greatest extent possible
- Frequent hand washing
- Stay home when you’re sick
- 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
- Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people like grocery stores or pharmacies — more information about face coverings can be found on the AppHealthCare website.
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms:
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
If you become ill, please call your healthcare provider or call AppHealthCare to speak with a public health staff member before going to your provider or the emergency room.
Based on recommendations issued by the NC Department of Health & Human Services, most people do not need testing for COVID-19. When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. If you are sick and unsure if you should get tested, please call your healthcare provider.
People at high risk include anyone who:
- Is 65 years of age or older
- Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Have a high-risk condition that includes: Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, heart disease with complications, compromised immune system, severe obesity — body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher or other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call (336) 246-9449 anytime and follow the prompts. AppHealthCare has set up a COVID-19 hotline at 1+ (828) 795-1970 for information during regular business hours. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community and will work to keep the public informed. Please visit our website for more information — www.AppHealthCare.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Questions from agencies requesting support on COVID-19 response, planning efforts, etc. can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. To view the case count for North Carolina, including a county map, please visit the NC DHHS website here.
A COVID-19 toll free helpline has been set up to answer general, non-emergent questions at 1(866) 462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”