Boone, NC – AppHealthCare has confirmed eleven additional cases of COVID-19 among subcontractors who were working on Appalachian State University campus construction projects. Seven individuals are Watauga County residents and four are non-Watauga County residents. All of these individuals’ last days on campus were between May 22 and May 26. Additionally, an App State student who resides off-campus has tested positive. This individual was in close contact with another known positive individual.
All individuals have fully cooperated with isolation instructions and are recovering at home. Public health staff have identified close contacts, and they are in quarantine and will be provided access to testing during their quarantine period.
The total confirmed case count for Watauga residents is 25 with 14 individuals who are actively in isolation. Additional data can be found on the AppHealthCare website dashboard. It will be updated regularly.
AppHealthCare and App State have partnered together with all construction contractors working at the university to conduct broader testing at worksites, including those that have not experienced a positive case to date.
“It is important to remember that as we increase the prevalence of testing, we will see an increase in verified, positive cases. Broad testing is critical in order to identify how much the virus has spread to isolate those who are positive and quarantine close contacts. We appreciate the partnership of App State and all construction contractors working at the university to coordinate broad testing at these construction sites and prioritize public health,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.
App State will continue to keep the university community informed about verified, positive cases that impact university students, faculty and staff. The latest updates regarding App State’s response to COVID-19 may be found at appstate.edu/coronavirus.
Additionally, AppHealthCare and App State are partnering on a public health campaign for members of the university community, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
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.
Avoid gatherings of 10 or more indoors and 25 or more outdoors
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.
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
People at high risk include anyone who:
Is 65 years of age or older
Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
Has 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
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.
You should be tested if:
You believe you have symptoms of COVID-19
If you have no symptoms and you are at higher risk for severe illness (you are 65 or older, you have an underlying health condition or chronic condition), or have been in close contact with someone who is known to have a positive result.
If you are someone working in a frontline role or essential business where social distancing is hard to maintain
If you are a first responder, law enforcement officer, fire department staff member, or healthcare staff member, please reach out if you would like to be tested
If you live in or work in a facility where social distancing is hard to maintain, like congregate living, healthcare facilities or home care
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.
Members of the App State community who are concerned about symptoms they might be experiencing can contact Student Health Service at (828) 262-3100 or AppHealthCare at (828) 264-4995.
If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
Recently, a possible link has been found between COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease in some children and teenagers who have current or recent infections. MIS-C is a very rare condition but it is important for parents and caregivers of children to be aware of the common symptoms which can include:
Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater, lasting for several days
Irritability or decreased activity,
Abdominal pain without another explanation
Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red.
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 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.
App State has a dedicated website about its response to COVID-19.
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.”