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The Toe River Health District confirmed three deaths related to COVID-19 in Avery County on January 18.

LEDGER — The Avery County Health Department was notified on Wednesday, Dec. 23 of two Covid-19-associated deaths in Avery County. The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths in Avery County now stands at 21. One individual was in their 80s and the other was in their 70s. To protect the family’s privacy no further information about the patients will be released.

Mitchell and Yancey counties were also notified of one COVID-19-associated death in each of the two counties. The total number of related deaths in Mitchell now stands at 21, and there are now a total of nine COVID-19-related deaths in Yancey. Both of the individuals were in their 70s. To protect the family’s privacy no further information about the patients will be released.

“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” Toe River Health District Health Director Diane Creek said in a press release. "This virus continues to spread within our communities and has the potential to cause fatal results to anyone infected. This is one reason why it is important for everyone to comply with the face covering requirement and reduce the spread of this virus, especially during the holiday season."

TRHD reminds residents that cases of community spread continue to rise within our counties. Remember to practice the three W’s at all times: Wear, a face covering when out in public and you cannot physically distance yourself from others, wait at least six feet away from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water. It is also imperative for those testing positive to stay at home.

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