By | December 22, 2020

The McDowell County Health Department has been notified that 50 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This brings the total number of positives to 2,685 in McDowell County. There have been 29,732 tests conducted, 26,762 negative results and 285 tests are pending results. Presently, there are 429 individuals in quarantine, 2,211 out of quarantine and 45 deaths. McDowell County’s 14-day positivity rate is 16.7%.

“McDowell County moved into the red zone on the NC COVID-19 County Alert System today,” states Public Health Director Karen Powell. “While this is not a complete surprise due to the rising number of positive cases, it is still extremely concerning. It is especially concerning going into the holidays. Please be safe and cautious over the next several weeks as transmission in our county is extremely high. As difficult as it may be, please avoid gatherings outside of those you live with and always wear a mask. It is critical, more than ever, to use all precautions to keep yourself safe. You could save your life or the life of someone you love. The COVID-19 vaccine is just days away from being available to our community. Please consider taking the vaccine as it is another way to protect ourselves from COVID-19.”

Emergency Services and Public Health staff continue to work 7 days a week responding to this pandemic. Both agencies 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:

  • Marion Correctional Institution: a total of 55 staff and 71 inmates have tested positive.
  • McDowell County Detention Center: a total of 28 inmates and 4 staff have tested positive. One staff member has recovered.
  • Clear Sky Behavioral: a total of 2 staff and 4 residents have tested positive.
  • Rose Hill Retirement Community: a total of 4 staff and 1 resident have tested positive. All staff and the one resident who tested positive have recovered.
  • Autumn Care of Marion: a total of 33 staff and 66 residents have tested positive. A total of 60 residents and 32 staff members have recovered since testing positive for COVID-19. A total of 6 residents have died due to COVID-19.
  • Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation: a total of 1 staff member and 1 resident have tested positive.

The McDowell County COVID-19 Hotline continues to operate 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The COVID-19 Hotline number is (828) 527- 6687. The Spanish line can be reached by calling 828-460-1256. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

To view McDowell County’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, please click the following link:

Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the following locations via a drive-thru setup:

McDowell County Health Dept; Monday, December 28th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
McDowell County Health Dept; Wednesday, December 30th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.