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NEWLAND — Avery County government has provided an update regarding its reaction and response to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

"Avery County Government would like to share that Avery County Emergency Management and the Health Department are working with local officials, Cannon Hospital, Avery County School System, 911 Communications, EMS Ambulance Services, and fire and rescue to ensure and protect the health and well-being of Avery County citizens," the release stated.

According to the release, stakeholders began meeting last week and will continue to meet on an as-needed basis, adding that it will be providing weekly updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning March 17.

"Citizens are encouraged to visit www.averycountync.gov for the latest updates along with a link to the NCDHHS state website, for information," according to the release.

The release also included tips for helping to prevent the spread or contraction of the virus. "Health officials encourage good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. These are the best preventive measures for this virus. These include covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently with soap and water, staying home when you feel sick or when you have a fever and cleaning surfaces with sanitizing cleaners," the release stated.

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