COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information

Watauga Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Avery County Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

North Carolina Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Click for previous Daily Updates >

Statistics Source: NC Department of Health & Human Services, Last update: 4/01 2:00 pm.
Get the latest information from NCDHHS | App. District Health Department | CDC

Signs & Symptoms

General Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough

More serious symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in chest
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Bluish lips or face

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

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. You can also connect with a RelyMD provider online at relymd.com/covidarhs on your computer or mobile device. $49 with coupon code: BEWELLARHS

Call 911 if you are experiencing difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in chest, confusion or disorientation, or bluish lips or face.

Learn more >

Visitor Restrictions

Visitors are not allowed at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s hospitals in order to help protect our patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis for certain situations.

Learn more >

How can the community help?

How can the community help?

Community_HelpThe COVID-19 pandemic creates new challenges daily for ARHS and for our patients. We are fortunate to have so many in our High Country community ask us how they can help in the response to these unprecedented times. Here, we’ve listed several ways you can help. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from community members, local businesses, and organizations.

 

Please stay at home

Our healthcare professionals are here for you, but we are asking the community to help slow the spread!

The most important thing the community can do to slow the spread of the virus is to stay home as much as possible. If you absolutely  must go out, stay at least six feet apart from others, wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

Donate Supplies

Thank you for your generosity in helping to support our organization and the patients we serve. At this time we are accepting gifts of personal protective equipment to include:

  • Medical grade surgical and procedure masks
  • N95 respirator masks
  • Face Shields
  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Please note that ARHS only intends to utilize homemade masks and other personal protective equipment as a last resort.

You can drop these items off at the front entrance of Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville or the security checkpoint at Watauga Medical Center in Boone.

If you have any questions, or to receive a gift receipt for your donation, please contact Brian Whitfield at bwhitfield@apprhs.org or 828-262-9105.

Donate to the ARHS COVID-19 Response

You can donate to support the ongoing efforts of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to respond to COVID-19, or to directly support patients in need.

Click here to donate online >

You may also mail a check to the address below, or contact Brian Whitfield, Director of Development, at (828) 262-9105 or bwhitfield@apprhs.org.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation
PO Box 2600
Boone, NC 28607

Donate to COVID-19 Patient Emergency Fund

You can donate to support the ongoing efforts of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to respond to COVID-19, or to directly support patients in need.

Click here to donate online >

You may also mail a check to the address below, or contact Brian Whitfield, Director of Development, at (828) 262-9105 or bwhitfield@apprhs.org.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation
PO Box 2600
Boone, NC 28607

Give Blood

Blood Drive at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center
April 16 @ 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Mark your calendars and make your appointment at www.redcrossblood.org and enter in the sponsor code: Watauga Medical Center or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason. Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend. Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day. Some believe it is the right thing we do.

As a proud Premier Blood Partner with the Red Cross, we know that just that short amount of time donating blood can mean a lifetime to a patient battling illness or injury. Roll up a sleeve and join us in giving back to the community.

March 24 updates: Visitors prohibited, patient accounts & medical records offices closed

March 24 updates: Visitors prohibited, patient accounts & medical records offices closed

ARHS closes Business Office: account inquiries occur via phone and web

 

In order to help protect our community from the spread of COVID-19, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will close its business office to visitors on Wednesday, March 25.

Customers can continue to call the business office at (828) 262-4111 to estimate costs of a procedure, discuss existing accounts, apply for financial assistance or make a payment over the phone.

Customers may also make payments online at https://apprhs.org/services/bill-pay/ or drop-off payments in the mailbox, outside the business office door.

Payments can also be mailed to:

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System
c/o Patient Accounts
155 Furman Road, Suite 101
Boone, NC 28607

 


In order to help protect our patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, effective Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 7:00pm, visitors will not be allowed at Watauga Medical Center or Cannon Memorial Hospital.

Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis in the following situations:

  • Hospitalized minors
  • Patients at the end of life
  • Patients needing help with communication or decision making
  • Patients giving birth

The health and safety of our patients, their families, and team members remains a top priority for our organization.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. Rest assured that our patients (your family, friends and neighbors) are receiving exceptional care from our outstanding physicians, nurses and staff.

 


To protect the health of our patients and staff during the COVID-19 public health emergency, in-person pick up of medical records is temporarily suspended.

Patients may utilize the options below to access their medical records.

  1. FollowMyHealth patient portal
  2. Fax my Medical Records
  3. Mail my Medical Records

Click for more information on each of these options >

 


ARHS will begin temperature screening for employees

On Wednesday March 25, ARHS will begin requiring ALL employees and contractors at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital to undergo temperature screening prior to beginning work. This temperature screening will occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The temperature screening process will involve quickly having your temperature taken. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or less, you will be cleared to work for the day.

If you temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, employees will not be allowed to work and instead be given written instructions about how to proceed, including:

  • Going home for the day
  • Contacting their manager
  • Contacting RelyMD for a screening
  • After screening, contact Occupational Health

Click for more information and temperature screening locations >

March 19 Updates: What has ARHS done to respond to COVID-19

March 19 Updates: What has ARHS done to respond to COVID-19

How ARHS is responding to COVID-19

 

During the past week, ARHS has made significant strides toward dealing with COVID-19. We have:

  • Launched a community-wide telehealth COVID-19 screening program through a partnership with RelyMD
  • Established a hospital incident command center
  • Enacted visitor restrictions at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital
  • Created two alternative COVID-19 testing sites
  • Designated a COVID-19 unit within Watauga Medical Center to extend our ICU capability
  • Closed non-essential areas
  • Postponed all elective surgeries/procedures at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital
  • Created a recreation program for our employees’ children
  • Deployed daily communication updates for employees and the community

All areas of our organization have and will continue to adapt to fulfill our mission to make life better for our community.

“These are truly extraordinary circumstances,” said Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “ARHS is blessed to have staff and medical providers dedicated to taking care of our community during this time of constant change.”

 


Visitor Restrictions

 

Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital:

Patients must designate ONE visitor during their hospital stay. Designated visitors may check in and receive a visitor badge. Visiting hours are 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.

  • One designated visitor per patient
  • No visitors who are sick
  • Must be 13 or older
  • No vendors are allowed
  • Waiting rooms and cafeterias are closed to the public

Medical Offices and Outpatient Clinics:

  • Only those who are essential to your care may come with you to appointments.

NEW: Designated visitors to Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital will now have their temperature checked before entering

 


How to contact patients during visitor restrictions

 

We have set up a patient mailbox at the entrance of Watauga Medical Center (WMC) and Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital (CMH) so that you or your children may drop off a note of encouragement that will be hand delivered. The box will be checked and notes will be delivered three times per day. There will be paper, envelopes, and pens available. Just remember to include the patient’s name and room number on the front of the envelope.

Of course you can still stay in touch by phone. At WMC, you can contact the room directly by calling (828) 262-4+the room number. At CMH, just call (828) 737-74+the last two digits of the room number.

You may also send a note by using the U.S. Postal Service. The mailing address for WMC is 336 Deerfield Rd., Boone, NC 28607 and the CMH address in 434 Hospital Dr., Linville, NC 28646. And please remember to include the patient’s name and room number on the envelope.

March 18 Update: Temperature checks for visitors, testing locations, second Watauga County positive

March 18 Update: Temperature checks for visitors, testing locations, second Watauga County positive

Visitor Restrictions

UPDATE: Visitors are no longer allowed in hospitals to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Click for more information >

Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital:

Patients must designate ONE visitor during their hospital stay. Designated visitors may check in and receive a visitor badge. Visiting hours are 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.

  • One designated visitor per patient
  • No visitors who are sick
  • Must be 13 or older
  • No vendors are allowed
  • Waiting rooms and cafeterias are closed to the public

Medical Offices and Outpatient Clinics:

  • Only those who are essential to your care may come with you to appointments.

 

 


ARHS COVID-19 Testing Locations are up and running

 

ARHS successfully launched COVID-19 alternative testing sites in Watauga and Avery counties. We are accepting patients referred for testing at both sites. Testing is by referral only. For more information about what to do if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the instructions below:

1. Connect with RelyMD online at relymd.com/covidarhs on your computer or mobile device. $49 with coupon code: BEWELLARHS

2. If the RelyMD physician determines that you meet the criteria for testing, he/she will help you make your appointment at a testing location.

3. If your test is positive for COVID-19, you will need to be isolated for 14 days. The testing facility will provide education for you and your family.

Click for more information >

 


Second Watauga County resident tests positive for COVID-19

 

A second Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This case was exposed to a known positive case. They have been in quarantine and are recovering. The local public health staff have identified the close contacts, who are in quarantine.

“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. We want to encourage the public to 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,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

Click for more information >

 

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information

March 17 Update: COVID-19 screening, Wellness Center temporarily closed, and more

ARHS rolls out a new way to be screened for COVID-19

 

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19, we have arranged a safe, convenient, and cost-effective option for your screening, so that you can avoid unnecessary hospital or clinic visits.

1. Connect with RelyMD online at relymd.com/covidarhs on your computer or mobile device.

Please use Coupon Code: BEWELLARHS for your $49 visit. Your initial screening will be with a board-certified physician who will determine if your symptoms require you to be tested.

2. If the RelyMD physician determines that you meet the criteria for testing, he/she will help you make your appointment at a testing location in Watauga or Avery County.

Go to the testing location at your appointed time. Please DO NOT travel to the testing location without an appointment.

Once you arrive, a staff member will meet you curbside at your vehicle and administer the tests — no need to get out of your car. Your test will be sent to a lab for confirmation. You’ll be instructed to self-quarantine until your test results are returned.

3. If your test is positive for COVID-19, you will need to be isolated for 14 days.

The testing facility will provide education for you and your family whether you test positive for the virus or not.

By using this simple screening and testing process, we can screen you as quickly as possible while keeping our community safe and healthy. Thank you for helping to stop the spread of the virus.

 


Incident Command System has been established

 

During extreme events that may challenge the resources of our Healthcare System, we implement the Incident Command System (ICS). ICS is a structure that assists healthcare organizations in improving planning, response, and recovery capabilities for unplanned and planned events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, epidemics, terrorist attacks, etc. ICS allows resources and communication flow between our organization, local, state and federal emergency management officials.

 


Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center is closed temporarily

 

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System made the difficult decision to temporarily close the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center effective March 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The decision was made given the extraordinary events of the past few days, including the president’s recent recommendation that all gatherings should be limited to no more than ten people.

The Wellness Center will remain closed for at least two weeks, at which time we will reevaluate the situation. Member billing will be adjusted for this period of closure, and any applicable late fees will be waived for the month of March.

We understand that the Wellness Center is an integral part of many people’s daily lives and routines. During this unprecedented time, we feel that this closure is a necessary step in ARHS’s efforts to flatten the curve and reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus.

Due to medical necessity, patients will still have the option to receive physical therapy and occupational therapy services at The Rehabilitation Center. For more information about The Rehabilitation Center, please call (828) 268-9043.

Thank you for your patience as we work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe.

For questions regarding closure of the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, please call 828-266-1060.

 


Visitor Restriction Policy

 

Hospitals: 

  • One designated visitor per patient
  • No visitors who are sick
  • Must be 13 or older
  • No vendors are allowed
  • Waiting rooms and cafeterias are closed to the public

Medical Office and Outpatient Clinics:

ARHS has also implemented visitor restrictions in all medical offices and outpatient clinics. We ask that only individuals who are essential to the patient’s care accompany them on office visits.

Thank you for helping us keep our patients and staff safe during this time. Click to see how you can send messages to patients.