This page is a resource for employee information about COVID-19 and the steps ARHS is taking. Please direct patients and members of the public to our public facing website at

Communications & Media

To ensure that media inquiries are met with the most complete and accurate information possible, we ask that you direct all media emails, phone calls, and conversations to Rob Hudspeth at or (828) 268-9052.

As healthcare professionals, we should share information only from reliable public health organizations. Before you share content or comments, check the following sources: ARHS, AppHealthCare, NCDHHS, CDC

Visitor Restrictions

Each patient at Watauga Medical Center (WMC) and Cannon Memorial Hospital (CMH) will be able to designate one visitor/advocate to accompany them during their hospital stay between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The designated visitor must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay, and another visitor cannot be substituted if the designated visitor is unable to come on any given day.

Learn more >

FREE RelyMD Virtual Visits for Employees

RelyMD connects you with a provider anytime, anywhere – now available at no cost for ALL ARHS employees (even those not on the ARHS health plan), as well as any dependent enrolled in the ARHS Health Plan.

  • Download the RelyMD app
  • Create your account within the app
  • Enter Employer Code ARHS on the payment page

Click for more information and printable PDF >

HIPAA Compliance Requirement

We want to remind all employees of ARHS’s policy regarding accessing patient records. With the COVID 19 risk, we know that in our small community you may have friends or family impacted by the virus and you may be concerned about their health and safety.

While we appreciate the caring attitude of our staff, you should only be accessing patient information to the degree that you need that information to provide care or to perform your job.

We do randomly run access logs to see who is accessing patient records. If we cannot identify a reason a specific person accessed the record, then HR and leadership will be investigating. Disciplinary measures can occur if the record should not have been accessed.

Thank you for taking such great care of our patients and for protecting their privacy as well.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? Yes. It is strongly recommended that persons 16 years of age and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine.   Can the vaccine give me COVID-19? No. The COVID-19 vaccine will also not affect the results of viral tests. However, it...

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Second COVID Unit Opened – Do Not Enter

Watauga Medical Center has experienced a sustained increase in COVID inpatients during the last week. Leading indicators of COVID positive cases in our community tell us we should expect to see more positive patients requiring hospitalization in the coming weeks. To...

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Touchless Temperature Check Stations

ARHS began using a WelloStation temperature check system at the WMC basement entrance on August 6th. The WelloStation self-serve, touchless clinical thermometer utilizes an infrared thermometer and provides verbal prompts to guide staff. The station cannot read...

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Employee Assistance Program: COVID-19 Resources

In an effort to support Staff during this uncertain time, EAP has listed a wide range of resources that employees may find helpful. Please know that we continue to be available for appointments via WebEx, telephone and email communication.

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RelyMD FREE virtual visits

The RelyMD medical team has carefully created specific COVID-19 protocols to help our patients seek remote care when experiencing flu-like symptoms, have concern over potential exposure with an infected person, or simply want to avoid healthcare facilities for non-related medical conditions.

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