Dare County experiencing community-wide spread of COVID-19; case count up to 77

Dare County is experiencing community wide spread of the COVID-19 virus, health officials said Friday.

From the northern end of the county to the southern end of the county, including the mainland of Dare County, over the past week the health department has seen a growing number of individuals who have tested positive but do not know where they acquired the virus. 

As of Friday afternoon, the county had 77 positive COVID-19 tests, 27 of which are considered active and in home isolation. Of the 77 cases, 41 are residents and 36 are non-residents. 

Since the last Dare County Department of Health and Human Services update issued, Tuesday, June 23,  there have been 17 new positive cases. Of these 17 cases, 12 are residents and 5 are non-residents.

Two restaurants on Hatteras Island have closed temporarily after employees tested positive this week.

The Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar and the Frisco Sandwich Company both made announcement about the cases on Facebook.

Update…I would like to share that at least one of our employees has tested positive thus far. 😢 We still have several…

Posted by Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar on Thursday, June 25, 2020

We feel obligated to inform our customers and our community that one of our staff members has tested positive for…

Posted by Frisco Sandwich Company on Thursday, June 25, 2020

“It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for you to protect yourself, your family, and our community by following the 3Ws (Wear, Wait and Wash),” Dare County health officials said in a statement. “What you do or do not do will have a direct impact on the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Strictly following the recommendations – maintain social distancing, wear your mask, and wash your hands often – is how YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS!”

A growing number of Dare’s positive cases are also among teens and young adults.

“Fortunately, these individuals have experienced only mild to moderate symptoms,” the health department said. “The greater concern in seeing the rise in cases in this age group is the likelihood of spreading it to others, including those who are at risk of developing severe complications from the virus.”

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

Of the 12 resident cases reported this week:

  • 3 are close acquaintances, two are mildly symptomatic and one is asymptomatic. All 3 acquired the virus through direct contact associated with an individual whose positive result was reported on 6/22
  • None of the remaining 9 resident cases are connected
  • 7 are symptomatic and acquired the virus through community spread  
  • 1 is asymptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact
  • 1 is asymptomatic and acquired the virus by community spread

Of the 5 non-resident cases reported this week:

  • None of the cases are connected to one another
  • 2 are asymptomatic and most likely acquired the virus through community spread outside of Dare County
  • 1 is symptomatic and acquired the virus through travel
  • 1 is symptomatic and acquired the virus through community spread
  • 1 is symptomatic and acquired the virus through direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 6/18

Contract tracing has been completed and direct contacts of these 17 cases have been identified, notified, and directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the positive case. Calls are made to check on compliance with the quarantine directive and legal action can be taken for individuals violating quarantine and isolation orders.

Mask Requirements

For consistency and to eliminate confusion amongst the public, Dare County’s Facemask Requirement is now aligned with the Governor’s Executive Order 147

Testing

A total of 438 appointments have been made for the COVID-19 Antibody & Diagnostic Testing Event on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 in Kill Devil Hills. Currently there are no appointments available for antibody testing. There are still diagnostic drive thru testing appointments available. To schedule an appointment, please call 252.475.5008. The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information on testing, please visit www.darenc.com/covidtesting.

Communications and Information Sharing

Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. On Tuesdays, a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued, on Thursdays a Spanish Video Update is issued, and on Fridays a written update is issued. All released videos and written updates can be found on our website, DHHS facebook page, Dare County Twitter page, and Dare Emergency Management Twitter page. If you would like to receive these updates directly to your email, please sign up to receive our enotifications.

New positive cases are updated on the dashboard on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page when we receive them. To find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in Dare County visit www.darenc.com/covid19. State COVID-19 data is available at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

Contact the Health Department

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting www.darenc.com/covid19 or by visiting the CDC or NC DHHS websites. If you have specific needs or questions you may also call the Dare County COVID-19 call center open Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 at 252-475-5008.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.

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