Spread of Coronavirus

Across the United States, as of Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25, the number of people who are confirmed to have coronavirus is 5,930,668. Sadly, 181,637 people have died from the virus.
In North Carolina the number of people who are “laboratory-confirmed” to have coronavirus is 157,741. Currently, 1,000 people are hospitalized. To date, 2,570 North Carolinians have died from coronavirus. NCDHHS estimates that as of Monday 136,630 have recovered. 
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 184. The number of Watauga County residents who have tested positive is 451. Of these cases, 62 are currently active. Twenty-six people in the district have been hospitalized at some point during the outbreak. The figure includes Alleghany County which is part of the local health department district, and which is not separated out in the hospital count among counties. One person has died in Ashe County from coronavirus. In Ashe and Watauga Counties, 142 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/.
The active case count at App State is 1 employee and 35 students. All are in isolation, according to the university. A cumulative count of those who have tested positive for Covid-19 is 23 employees, 134 students, and 41 subcontractors (workers on campus who were not staff or faculty). These figures are included in AppHealthCare’s daily updates
The site is updated regularly. Click on the link to view more details: https://www.appstate.edu/go/coronavirus/
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.

$175 Million Earmarked for Utility & Rental Assistance
Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday earmarked $175 million in coronavirus pandemic relief funds to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payments. The money will be split into three pots: $94 million for eviction prevention and utility payments; $53 million for crisis response and housing stability; and $28 million for local government support.
For more details: https://www.wral.com/nc-sets-aside-175m-in-pandemic-relief-funds-for-rent-utility-assistance/19253391/

Feds Approve $300/Week Unemployment Boost for NC

The state applied last Thursday for a federal unemployment boost that should add at least $300 to people’s weekly unemployment checks. On Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the request. It is not clear when the funds will be distributed.
Read more: https://www.wral.com/state-gets-approval-to-increase-unemployment-checks-by-300/19247313/

Absentee Ballot Requests At Record High for State, Area

Through August 18, nearly 300,000 absentee ballot requests have been received by county boards of elections across North Carolina, with 77 days until election. This number is a lot different from 2016, where by Aug. 23, 2016 (77 days until the election), there were 26,906 absentee ballot requests. 
Read more: https://www.hcpress.com/news/mail-in-absentee-ballots-requests-surge-deadline-to-request-absentee-ballots-is-oct-27.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.

State BOE’s FAQ on Absentee Ballot Process in NC
Given the presence of Covid-19 in our communities, many people are considering voting by absentee mail-in ballot. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions about the process for North Carolina:https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Outreach/Absentee/FAQs_Absentee_Voting_2020_FINAL.pdf

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. 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