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The Avery County Health Department and Toe River Health District have reported the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Avery County.

NEWLAND — Toe River Health District has confirmed a second case of COVID-19 in Avery County as of 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. 

The confirmation comes three days after the first case of coronavirus in Avery was confirmed on Monday, May 18. The Avery County Health Department had been notified that an Avery resident had tested positive for the virus, and the individual is currently in isolation. 

Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye confirmed that the first COVID-19 case was affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office. However, The second case is unaffiliated from the first case of the virus, Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Avery was the final county in North Carolina that had yet to report a positive test for the virus.

“As our counties start opening back up, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still here,” Toe River Health District Health Director Diane Creek said. “We are blessed in Avery County to have a strong community. Your public officials and county leadership have been working tirelessly to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part by continuing to follow the guidelines, and remember that we’re all in this together, and to support one another.”

North Carolina health officials report there have been a total of 20,860 lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state as of 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, according to statistics posted from NCDHHS. The state also reports 716 virus-related deaths.

NCDHHS reports 578 people are currently hospitalized.

The Raleigh News & Observer newspaper reported that 742 individuals have died from the virus, with 21,104 cases statewide as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 21.

The numbers reported by the newspaper, which is compiling the numbers of cases announced by counties throughout the day, vary from the daily reports provided by N.C. DHHS. N.C. DHHS has emphasized that not all people with symptoms of COVID-19 are being tested, and the numbers reported by county and state health departments do not represent the total number of people infected throughout the state.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine reports a total of 1,562,714 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 5 p.m. on May 21, with 93,863 reported deaths and more than 283,178 individuals reported as having recovered from the virus.

A total of 290,645 tests had been completed by the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospitals and commercial labs as of May 21, according to N.C. DHHS. The estimate of people who have recovered from the virus is 11,637, with the estimate provided each Monday by NCDHHS. NCDHHS estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown. The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.

According to Toe River Health District, which includes Avery County Health Department, 501 people in Avery County have been tested, with 452 negative results and 48 tests pending, as of 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 21.

A total of 237 people have been tested in Mitchell County as of Tuesday, May 21, with 222 negative results, with nine results pending. The county has reported eight total positive tests for COVID-19, according to TRHD, with five cases having recovered. Yancey County, the latest county to report its first case of COVID-19, reports 553 people tested, with 505 negative results, 38 results pending and 10 current active positive cases of COVID-19. Two cases are active, and the remaining eight have recovered.

In neighboring counties, Watauga County has 13 positive tests among residents, Caldwell County has 93 positive tests as of May 21 with two deaths, while Wilkes County has 456 reported cases and one death, according to NCDHHS. Ashe County has 31 cases, and the department reports McDowell County with 35 cases and one death. Burke County reports 223 cases, with 14 deaths in that county attributed to the virus, according to NCDHHS.

In Tennessee, Johnson County has reported 15 cases and Carter County has reported 19 cases with one death, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Statewide, Mecklenburg County has reported the most cases with 2,894. Wake County is reporting 1,345 and Durham County reports 1,119 cases.

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