Dare tops 10K total COVID positive tests; N.C. hospitalizations down for fifth straight day


The total number of COVID-19 positive tests administered in Dare County crossed another major milestone over the past week, while there have been encouraging signs both locally and statewide in several key coronavirus statistics.

The number of people in North Carolina hospitals with COVID dropped for a fifth straight day on Tuesday, with 4,786. That’s down from a pandemic-record of 5,201 reported on January 26.

Of the 10,387 positive COVID cases reported in Dare County in the last 23 months, 7,355 of those have been among residents and 3,032 were people from elsewhere who were administered a test in Dare as of February 1.

New cases statewide moved slightly up on Tuesday to 8,767, after going down the last several days and are much lower than the record highs reported in mid-January.

The number of Dare County residents who have died from COVID-19 remained at 27 for the third straight week, while the statewide death toll on Tuesday was 20,817.

More from the Dare Department of Health and Human Service weekly COVID release from Tuesday, Feb. 1:

The total number of new laboratory confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Dare County for the past week was 412. Currently, based on the reported positive cases, there are 104 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. There are 10 residents hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19. A resident case is considered active if they are in their 5 day isolation period or report being symptomatic beyond 5 days.

The reported positive cases only include laboratory confirmed cases reported by medical providers, urgent care centers, the hospital, or the state, which includes tests performed at area pharmacies. Self-reported, over the counter, home tests are not counted in the reported case count totals.

Drive-Thru Testing Available Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 2:30 pm

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group and Mako Medical are partnering to provide a Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing site available for anyone in need of COVID-19 testing. Drive-thru testing will be available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Dare County Family Recreation Park located at 602 Mustian Street in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Patients will not be charged for the test. Insurance information will be collected for those with insurance.

For fastest service at the Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing site, pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Individuals may pre-register on-line at https://bit.ly/nc-kdh-18931. Results will be available through the Mako Medical on-line portal within 48 hours from the test date.

COVID Vaccinations in Dare

All individuals 5 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, CVS, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.

Individuals ages 5 and over should get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Since late December 2020, a total of 27,867 (75%) Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 26,548 (72%) individuals have been vaccinated with a two dose mRNA series or one dose or J&J, a total of 13,533 (36%) have received booster doses.

COVID-19 Booster Dose Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended booster vaccine shots for individuals ages 12 and older to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your booster dose five months after your second shot. If you received the J&J vaccine you can get your booster two months after your shot.

If you received a third additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna, that was originally authorized for immunocompromised individuals in August of 2021, it is now authorized for you to receive a booster dose. This does NOT apply to individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson primary vaccine. With the decreased booster waiting period of 5 months, certain immunocompromised people may now qualify for their booster shot. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have questions about getting a booster dose.

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services offers Moderna  and Pfizer booster vaccines. You may call your area pharmacy or call our Clinical Services team at 252.475.5003 (select option #2, leave a message if you reach voicemail) to register for a vaccine appointment,

For more information or questions about COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, please visit www.darenc.com/COVIDvaccine

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 821 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests reported since early March of last year to 70,856.  There were 412 positive cases between January 24 and January 30. The percentage of reported positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased again this week to 14.61%. The percentage of reported positive tests to total tests for the past week increased from the previous week to 50.18%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care have decreased. 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 which includes 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 this week will be updated on the dashboard and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page Monday- Friday. 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.