By Dare County Health and Human Services
Dare County COVID-19 data from the past few weeks continues to show some hopeful trends.
Specifically, the total number of new positive cases was the lowest last week it has been since the week of November 30th.
Additionally, the percent of positive tests to total tests for this past week decreased from 15.1% to 13.4%. While this is good news, it is still concerning to have such a high percent positivity rate. It remains critically important to continue to practice the 3Ws: Wear a face covering, wait 6 ft apart and wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. These are the tools proven to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Since our last report on 2/2, there have been 104 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 104 new cases:
- 88 (85%) are symptomatic
- 90 (87%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 2,661, of which there are 106 active cases among residents of Dare County. Currently, 5 residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19. Sadly, we reported 4 covid related deaths over this past week. Two of the deaths were late reports from the end of January and the other 2 deaths occured over the past week. Our thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost their loved ones.
As shared over the past couple of weeks, Dare County’s first dose vaccine allocation from the state has been dramatically reduced. Our guaranteed weekly allocation from the state for the next 2 weeks is 300 doses per week.
As shared last week we submitted a request to the state to host a Mega Vaccine event here in Dare County at the end of February. We specifically requested 3,000 doses for the event which would enable us to vaccinate all of those 65 and over who are on the current wait list. We have not heard back from the state whether our request for the Mega Vaccine event will be approved. We will likely receive an answer from the state the night of February 18th.
We continue to ask for everyone’s patience with the vaccine roll out. Our ability to vaccinate everyone who wishes to be vaccinated is completely dependent on our vaccine allocation from the state. Over the past 5 weeks we have administered 7,197 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Dare County and 662 second doses.
The vaccine allotment issues are only related to first doses. We have not been informed that there are any issues with second dose allotments.
We are continuing to accept vaccine registrations for those 65 and older. The Vaccine Registration Form is available on our website. Additionally, we now have the Vaccine Registration Form available in Spanish at a direct link. (Show visit www.darenc.com/RegistroDeVacuna). Information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Dare County can be found at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine. General information on the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the state’s website www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:
Number of Tests
Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
COVID Like Illness Surveillance
This past week there were 693 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 32,188. There were 93 positive cases between February 1 and February 7. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased to 8.23%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased to 13.4%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers, showed activity consistent with the past couple of weeks. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.
Communications and Information Sharing
Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. Every Tuesday, a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. Additional updates will be released as needed. 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.
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.