COVID-19 Bulletin #13
March 23, 2020
The Dare County Control Group met Monday morning, March 23 to receive an update regarding COVID-19 and discuss issues related to the health and safety of our community. Currently, all critical services including law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and healthcare, including the Outer Banks Hospital are operational and able to meet the needs of our residents. Essential supplies, including food and water, continue to be delivered to local stores. Residents should continue to purchase food, supplies, and medications as they need them but remember if you do go out, stay at least six feet from others at all times.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the nation continues to grow. In the United States there are now more than 35,000 cases and in North Carolina there are 298 reported cases in 45 out of our state’s 100 counties.
North Carolina is releasing statewide numbers of the COVID-19 tests being conducted. So far, North Carolina has administered 8,438 tests. This is not an inclusive number of every test that has been conducted in North Carolina, as hospitals and private labs are not required to report the number of tests. They are, however, required to report positive cases. Local public health departments are still being advised to adhere to communicable disease guidelines and only release positive test results.
Medical Providers in Dare County continue to test patients who are symptomatic and meet criteria for testing which includes: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness.
There have not been any individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County. When there is a positive test result, this information will be shared as soon as possible.
It is imperative that we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and everyone is asked to refrain from unnecessary travel. The actions you take now to prevent the spread will have a direct impact on our entire community. The only way to protect family, friends and neighbors who are at high risk is to stay home and avoid all nonessential contact with others. Limit trips for groceries, gas, and other essentials. If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet from others at all times. It cannot be stressed enough that staying home and limiting unnecessary travel is the most effective way to control the spread of this virus.
It is understandable that the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger. We have recently released two videos that address physical and mental well being. These videos can be found on Dare County’s YouTube Channel. If you or your child/teen need help with the stress or anxiety you are facing, there are resources in our county to assist. Please call PORT Health at 252.441.2324 or Trillium Health Resources at 877.685.2415.
Residents are encouraged to rely on credible sources for updated information regarding COVID-19. Visit the CDC website www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or NCDHHS at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. For information specific to Dare County, visit www.darenc.com/covid19.
The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at 252.475.5008.
For updated information regarding Dare County services, visit www.darenc.com/covidservices.
The Outer Banks Hospital
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in eastern North Carolina, The Outer Banks Hospital is now prohibiting all visitors. To accommodate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the following areas will allow (after an on-site screening) ONE healthy adult visitor:
o Maternity and Postpartum Unit
o Clinics located inside the hospital
o End of life patients
o Discharge pickup
o Emergency departments – pediatric patients and patients requiring assistance only
o Other situations on a case-by-case basis
Our Outer Banks Medical Group clinics are allowing one healthy adult visitor per patient.
Beginning Monday, March 23, The Outer Banks Hospital is rescheduling outpatient procedures and visits that can wait a few weeks. Examples include mammogram screenings, bone dexa scans, and some rehabilitative therapy. If you have a scheduled appointment over the next two weeks for one of these appointments that can be delayed, you will receive a call to reschedule your appointment.
The outpatient walk-in lab is open; however, we strongly encourage patients to delay coming in if their test can wait a few weeks. A good example of a lab test that can wait is an annual wellness lab draw.
The Outer Banks Medical Group is gearing up to offer virtual visits (phone or computer) for established patients in order to continue care and limit potential exposure to the virus. If you are an established patient of an Outer Banks Medical Group clinic and you need to be seen, please call the office to see what options are available to you and your unique situation. If you already have an appointment scheduled, our staff will be reaching out to you.
Town of Duck
To protect our citizens and staff, we ask you to call or email the office to ask how we may be able to assist you remotely. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Trash and recycling collection will continue as scheduled, with the addition of a residential recycling collection on March 30.
The Public Safety building is closed to non-emergency issues, including facility tours and the T-shirt shop.
The Town of Duck Police Department continues to monitor unoccupied properties throughout town. Should signs of unauthorized entry or other issues be observed, the homeowner or property management company will be contacted.
For more information, click here.
The Advisory Committee meeting for the Comprehensive & Land Use Plan update schedule for Wednesday, March 25 has been postponed.
Plans for streaming the Council meeting scheduled for April 1, 2020 are being evaluated. We will post instructions closer to the meeting date.