Spread of Coronavirus

Across the United States, as of Friday afternoon, July 31, the number of people who are confirmed to have coronavirus is 4,680,117. Sadly, 156,171 people have died from the virus.
In North Carolina the number of people who are “laboratory-confirmed” to have coronavirus is 122,148. Currently, 1,229 people are hospitalized. To date, 1,924 North Carolinians have died from coronavirus. NCDHHS estimates that 92,302 are presumed to have recovered as of Monday. 
Much more data is available at the NC DHHS “Dashboard”. See https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.
Locally, the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Ashe County is 112. The number of Watauga County residents who have tested positive is 261. Of these cases, 141 are currently active. Fourteen people in the district are currently hospitalized. One person has died in Ashe County from coronavirus. In Ashe and Watauga Counties, 124 residents are currently being monitored as possibly having Covid-19.
You can get more local data from the AppHealth Care Dashboard at https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-information/covid-19-data-dashboard/.
Our prayers are with all these people affected by coronavirus along with their families.
Please follow public health officials’ guidance: Wear a face mask in public settings. Wait 6 feet apart. Wash your hands frequently.

Free Covid-19 Testing at AHS this Saturday

AppHealthCare is partnering with Mako Medical Laboratories to offer COVID-19 testing for Ashe County residents. Drive-thru testing will be available Saturday, August 1st 9:00am-2:00pm at Ashe High School, 184 Campus Drive, West Jefferson. 
Read more: https://www.apphealthcare.com/free-covid-19-drive-thru-testing-event-for-ashe-county-saturday-august-1st/

Wooly Worm Festival Cancelled This Year

The 2020 Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk has been cancelled. The festival is normally held in October. Every year, profits from the festival are given back to the community to enhance the lives of children and to promote business and tourism in Avery County. The festival is well attended by residents of Ashe and Watauga counties.
Read more: https://www.hcpress.com/news/board-of-directors-announce-cancellation-of-this-years-43rd-annual-woolly-worm-festival.html

Charter & Private Schools Have Varied Plans for Opening

While Watauga County Schools recently decided that students would participate in remote learning starting in August, three other local schools are planning for children to return to in-person learning in varying capacities.
Read more: https://www.wataugademocrat.com/covid19/area-private-charter-schools-have-varied-plans-for-in-person-learning/article_e5ceb98a-928b-5534-b8f8-2fe7bbf9dd0c.html

CNN Hosts Town Hall on Covid-19 with Dr. Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, explains why he is encouraged by early findings in a recent Covid-19 vaccine trial.
View the full town hall: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/22/app-news-section/full-coronavirus-town-hall-may-21-2020-app/index.html

How to Request an Absentee Ballot for the Nov. Election

Ashe County:https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9daed2ecce2a4df2845caa12db947e3d/files/NC-Absentee-Ballot-Request-Form.pdfNeed more information? Contact the Ashe County Board of Elections at asheelections@ashecountygov.com or call 336-846-5570.

Watauga County:http://www.wataugacounty.org/App_Pages/Dept/BOE/notices.aspxNeed more information? Contact the Watauga County Board of Elections at Matthew.Snyder@watgov.org or call 828-265-8061.
Early voting sites have not been determined yet for either county.

Help During the Pandemic

DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced recently the launch of a website that will assist those in need of things like help navigating the unemployment landscape, food assistance, or housing and shelter, among other things.
The NCCARE360.org website is now interactive for all 100 counties. A test program was created in 2019 for four NC counties, and it was thought it would take until December 2020 for the program to go live for the whole state, but teams rollled up their sleeves and worked overtime to make it available during this critical time for the state. Go to the website to request assistance from agencies in your area: https://nccare360.org/

If You have Coronavirus Symptoms…

If you believe you have symptoms of coronavirus and live in Watauga County:1) Call AppHealthCare at 828-264-4995 or (828) 795-1970 during regular business hours,2) Visit https://apprhs.org/covid19-screening/ online and follow screening instructions, or3) Call your primary care doctor.
If you believe you have symptoms of coronavirus and live in Ashe County call AppHealthCare at 336-246-9449 or call your primary care doctor.

More Information

Our public heath office, AppHealthCare, is the primary local source of information about coronavirus. See https://www.apphealthcare.com/covid-19-information/
For more information from our hospitals, see Appalachian Regional’s website at https://apprhs.org/COVID19/ or Ashe Memorial Hospital’s website at https://www.ashememorial.org/ for their updates.
For information specific to North Carolina, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) provides the latest information on COVID-19 at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/Also, North Carolina coronavirus updates are available by calling 888.892.1162 or by texting COVIDNC to 898211