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LEDGER - Seven additional positive tests for COVID-19 were reported in Avery County, according to a Wednesday evening, July 9, press release from Toe River Health District. TRHD also reported four additional positive tests in Mitchell County.

Avery’s additional positive tests increase the county’s total number of positive cases to 42, with eight having recovered and 34 still active. Yancey County has 44 active cases with 18 having recovered, while Mitchell has 67 total positive cases, 35 individuals recovered and 32 cases active with one death, according to the release.

“Public health staff is working to complete the investigations and they are contacting close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the cases will be released,” TRHD stated in the release. “The Yancey, Mitchell and Avery County Health Departments will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners.”

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell, diarrhea, nausea, headache, sore throat and body aches. If you experience these symptoms, TRHD recommends that patients call their healthcare provider and follow their advice. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. "Remember that 80% of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms," the release added.

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, TRHD urges everyone to take the following precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Especially stay home when sick
  • Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet)
  • Wear a mask when out in public
  • Avoid contact with persons whom you know are sick
  • Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow, or use a tissue and throw in trash)
  • Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing)
  • If you do not have access to soap and water use hand sanitizer that is at least 60-percent alcohol
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners
  • Routine use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases in the community.

"It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC, NCDHHS and Yancey, Mitchell and Avery County Health Departments," the release added. "For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7)."

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