By | August 19, 2021

The McDowell County Health Department has been notified that 52 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).   We are saddened to report 1 additional death.  This brings the total number of positives to 5,923 in McDowell County. There have been 50,504 tests conducted, 44,372 negative results and 209 tests are pending results.  Presently, there are 427 individuals in quarantine, 5,415 out of quarantine and 81 deaths.  McDowell County’s 14-day positivity rate is 23.5%.  McDowell County’s COVID-19 data dashboard is updated daily (Monday-Friday) and can be found by visiting or by clicking the following link:

“This pandemic is not over as we continue to see a rapid rate of spread within our community,” states Emergency Services Director William Kehler.  “Healthcare resources within our community and region are not unlimited.  A continued acceleration of new positive cases will continue to strain these resources.  We urge you to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  There are multiple locations across McDowell County that administer the vaccine.  Practicing the 3W’s of wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands can help reduce the rapid acceleration of this virus within our community.”

COVID-19 Outbreaks Information:
Emergency Services and Public Health staff continue to offer assistance and logistical support to facilities that are experiencing current outbreaks of COVID-19. Outbreaks are defined by DHHS as:  two or more cases of COVID-19 in a congregate living facility within 28 days.  The current outbreaks in McDowell County are:

  • Autumn Care of Marion:  a total of 4 staff members and 9 residents have tested positive.
  • Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation: a total of 2 staff members and 2 residents have tested positive.

COVID-19 Testing Information:
Citizens in need of a COVID-19 test are encouraged to call their primary care physician, local urgent care clinics or CVS pharmacy for testing. If you are uninsured or cannot afford a COVID-19 test, you can call the McDowell County Health Department at 828-652- 6811 to schedule a test.  The next drive-thru testing clinic will be held Monday, August 23rd at the McDowell County Health Department from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
The COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center (828-803-4552) is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, 7 days a week.  Please call the hotline if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment to get your vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and there are multiple vaccine locations around our county to choose from including: McDowell County Health Department, Ingles, Wal-Mart, CVS, Atrium Health Physician Practices and McDowell Family Pharmacy in Old Fort.
First dose vaccine appointments can also be booked online by visiting  Homebound citizens who want the vaccine but are unable to reach a vaccination site are encouraged to contact the Vaccine Call Center (828-803-4552) to have the vaccine delivered and administered at their home.
Upcoming Public Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

  • Friday, August 20th from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the McDowell County Health Department
  • Friday, August 20th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at McDowell High School*($100 Summer Cards will not be available at this event)
  • Wednesday, August 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the McDowell County Health Department

COVID Vaccine Summer Cards
From Aug. 4 through Aug. 31, anyone 18+ who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating location will receive a $100 Summer Card* in the form of a Prepaid Mastercard®, and anyone who drives someone to get their first dose will receive a $25 Summer Card.*while supplies last
McDowell County Vaccine Doses Administered

  • First Doses: 19,737 (43%)
  • Second Doses: 18,010 (39%)
  • Total Doses administered: 37,747