Dare County reports jump in COVID-19 positivity rate over past week

It was a quick and orderly process during the March 6, 2021 mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kill Devil Hills. [Kari Pugh photo]

By Dare County Health and Human Services

This past week there were 50 new positive COVID-19 cases in Dare County, with the percent of positive tests to total tests increasing from 7.49% to 11.3%, health officials said in a Tuesday update.

The virus continues to be predominantly spread by direct contact between family members, co-workers and close friends. The total COVID-19 positive case count for Dare County is 3,075, of which there are 24 active cases among residents of Dare County. We are saddened to report an additional resident has died from complications associated with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with their family and friends.

Since our last report on 4/13, there have been 53 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 53 new cases:

38 (72%) are symptomatic

44 (83%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

We know we can control the spread of the virus by practicing the 3Ws. Please wear a face covering, wait 6 ft apart from others and wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. In addition to the 3Ws, the most effective tool in controlling the spread of this virus is to get your COVID vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine

It is now easier and quicker than ever to get your COVID-19 vaccine. We no longer have a waiting list for our vaccine clinics so when you register on-line you should receive a call within approximately 24 hours to schedule your appointment. You can register on-line at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine or email us at [email protected]

Additionally, many of the area pharmacies are now providing COVID-19 vaccinations including Walgreens, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Baer Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy. Availability may be limited and appointments are required. Please call the pharmacy directly to inquire about their vaccination protocols.

Over the past 3 and a half months, we have provided 15,369 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and have fully vaccinated 13,149 individuals. In addition to preventing serious illness and death, getting your COVID-19 vaccine prevents you from being quarantined if you are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID, as long as you remain symptom free. To date, there have been no reports in Dare County of serious illness or death of anyone who has been fully vaccinated. Now is a great time to get your vaccine so you can be fully vaccinated before the busy summer season is upon us.

Any NC resident or property owner 16 and older who wishes to receive the vaccine can now be vaccinated in Dare County. To register please go to our website now at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine to complete the vaccination request form.

Key Metrics

Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:

Number of Tests

Confirmed Cases

Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests

COVID Like Illness Surveillance

This past week there were 443 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 37,003. There were 50 positive cases between April 12 and April 18. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased slightly to 8.30%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week increased to 11.3%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers continues to show low levels of activity. 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.

Contact Us

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.