COVID-19 death toll in N.C. reaches 13,000; total cases nearing one million mark

North Carolina has reported more than 13,000 residents have died from COVID-19 since last March, and will likely pass the one million case mark by the end of the week.

According to the latest statistics from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard, Beaufort County had the highest coronavirus death toll in the region at 95, followed by Pasquotank with 83. Dare County reports 15 residents have died since the pandemic begin last spring.

Dare County’s Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday said there were 21 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week. Aside from the previous week’s low of 13 new cases, this past week had the lowest number of new cases since September of 2020.

Of these 21 new cases, 17 are symptomatic, 19 acquired the virus by direct contact with an unvaccinated individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, there are only 10 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County.

COVID-19 Vaccine
All individuals 12 years of age and over are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available at numerous locations throughout the county including the health department and many area pharmacies like: Walgreens, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.

Since late December, Dare DHHS has provided 16,235 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and have fully vaccinated 16,449 individuals. Dare County’s first dose vaccination rate is 51.1% and a fully vaccinated rate of 48.4%.

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-19, as long as you remain symptom free. While there have been 6 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 reported in Dare County, there have been no reports of serious illness or death of anyone in Dare who has been fully vaccinated.

Key Metrics
This past week there were 309 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 39,466. There were 22 positive cases between May 17 and May 23.

The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 decreased to 8.15%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week increased to 6.77%.

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 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 and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page each Tuesday. 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.

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