DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #37
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Dare County COVID-19 Case Update
The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 459 of which there are 16 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 459 cases, 245 are residents and 214 are non-residents.
Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued Friday, August 28, 2020 there have been 14 new positive cases. Of these 14 cases, 5 are residents and 9 are non-residents. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases.
Of the 5 resident cases since Friday, August 28th:
- 3 of the cases are not connected. All are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals who tested positive outside of Dare County
- 2 of the cases are not connected. Both are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus which indicates community spread.
Of the 9 non-resident cases since Friday, August 28th:
- 2 of the cases, both symptomatic, are family members who acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare C0unty.
- 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with a family member who tested positive outside of Dare County.
- 5 of the cases are not connected. All are symptomatic and all acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals who tested positive outside of Dare County.
- 1 individual is asymptomatic. It is unclear how this individual acquired the virus.
Contact tracing has been completed on 11 of the 14 of the cases and direct contacts provided by these individuals have been identified, notified, and directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the positive case. The 14 day quarantine requirement is very important to slowing the spread of the virus as the incubation period for this virus is 2 – 14 days. We are working with the other 3 individuals to identify direct contacts.
This past week we saw an increase in the number of new positive cases as well as an increase in the percent of positive tests to total tests. We continue to see the majority of new cases linked to direct contact with individuals who have the virus. Close contact continues to be the predominant way we are seeing the virus spread. This reaffirms how important it is for each of us to do our part and remain vigilant by following the 3Ws to help reduce the spread COVID-19.
- Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.
- Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
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 631 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County by local healthcare providers. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 10,869. There were 30 positive cases between August 24 and August 30. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased slightly this week to 4.11%. The percent positive to total tests for the past week alone also increased to 4.75%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department showed an increase last week in the number of individuals presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms. The number of individuals presenting to the local urgent care centers with COVID-19 related symptoms was lower last week than the weeks prior. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19
The testing guidelines in North Carolina have not changed despite some recent language changes in the CDC testing guidance for COVID-19. Anyone who wishes to be tested for COVID-19 can get a test. There are 5 locations in Dare County which provide testing. These locations can be found on our website at darenc.com/covid19, under the testing frequently asked questions. We strongly encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms to be tested as well as anyone who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. We know asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus. If you are sick and do not have a prior exposure, testing will allow you to either rule out or confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19. This information is valuable in helping reduce the spread of the virus to others, if you indeed have a positive test result. If you have questions about testing or locations please feel free to call the COVID-19 call center, open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 5 pm at 252-475-5008.
Communications and Information Sharing
Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. On Tuesdays, we release a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. On Fridays a written update is issued. 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.