Appalachian District Health Department (AppHealthCare) has informed Appalachian State University it has confirmed two additional Watauga County residents with university connections have tested positive for COVID-19.
One individual is an employee of Appalachian State University whose last day on campus was March 20. The other is a subcontracted worker who last worked on campus on May 13. These individuals have fully cooperated with isolation instructions and are recovering at home.
Public health staff have identified some close contacts, who have been instructed to quarantine and who are being provided access to testing during their quarantine period. The contractor has engaged in a thorough cleaning at the job site. Workers will remain off campus until cleared by public health to return.
The case investigation continues. App State and AppHealthCare will work together to continue monitoring COVID-19 at the university and in our community and to keep the public informed.
The university is implementing enhanced precautionary measures with employees who are on campus as well as with subcontracted workers, which include wearing face coverings, maintaining appropriate physical distance and reviewing North Carolina Governor’s Executive Orders 131 and 135, which require all individuals to wear face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of distance in public areas or work centers.
We continue to hear of self-reported, confirmed cases that are not being tested by AppHealthCare or App State. As we learn of these cases, we are coordinating with local public health agencies to the greatest extent possible, in consultation with the North Carolina Division of Public Health Communicable Disease team. AppHealthCare continues to be a valuable university partner, helping verify tests that may have been performed in other counties.
Students who are concerned about symptoms should call Student Health Services at 828-262-3100 and ask to speak with a nurse. Faculty or staff who have concerns about students or their own health diagnoses should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to rely on official sources of information for facts about COVID-19, not share unconfirmed information, and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your coughs and sneezes, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
The university has a dedicated website about its response to COVID-19.
AppHealthCare has developed a website dashboard case count that will be updated regularly. App State will continue to keep the university community informed about verified, positive cases.
Below is information Public Health has shared with the university and High Country communities regarding COVID-19:
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms.
People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services has issued updated testing guidance to allow a clinician to test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected. At this time, we want to prioritize testing for the following populations:
For testing, call your healthcare provider or AppHealthCare. Please do not just show up to a healthcare provider without calling first. This will help your provider prepare should you need to be tested and lessen the potential exposure to others. AppHealthCare will serve anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. As is our usual day-to-day practice, a patient will not be turned away due to inability to pay.
If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
During this time, it is important to manage your overall health. There are resources available if you need to reduce anxiety or stress, are experiencing suicidal thoughts, need to better manage chronic conditions and more. Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call 828-264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. AppHealthCare has set up a COVID-19 hotline at 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 email@example.com.