DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #43 | Friday, September 18, 2020

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, COVID-19 Update

DCDHHS’ COVID-19 Update #43
Friday, September 18, 2020
4:30 p.m.

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

The number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County is 510, of which there are 8 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 510 cases, 271 are residents and 239 are non-residents.

We learned this morning that one individual who recently tested positive for COVID-19 has died. The cause of death for this individual was from other causes, non-covid, and is therefore not classified as a COVID death.

According to the state of North Carolina’s COVID-19 Associated Death Case Definition, a coronavirus disease 2019 associated death is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be COVID-19 by an appropriate laboratory test. There should be no period of complete recovery between the date of COVID-19 diagnosis and the date of death.

A death should not be reported as a COVID-19 death if any of the following are true:

1. There is no laboratory or other diagnostic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

2. Novel coronavirus illness is followed by full recovery to baseline health status prior to death. 3. After review and consultation there is an alternative agreed upon cause of death.

Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued, Tuesday, September 15, 2020, there have been 8 new positive cases. Of these 8 cases, 4 are residents and 4 are non-residents. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases.

Of the 4 new resident cases since Tuesday, September 15th:

  • 2 of the cases are connected. Both are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 9/13.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 1 individual is asymptomatic. It is unclear how this individual acquired the virus.

Of the 4 new new non-resident cases since Tuesday, September 15th:

  • 2 of the cases are family members, both are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic. It is unclear how this individual acquired the virus.

Contract tracing has been completed on 7 of the new 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. We are currently in the process of working with one individual to identify and notify their direct contacts.

Controlling the Spread

While we have been fortunate in Dare County over the past few weeks to have relatively low numbers of new cases. Unfortunately, this has not been the same for many of our neighboring counties. We cannot stress enough how important it is to use the proven tools available to help reduce the spread of COVID 19. Please help us keep the number of new cases low by following the 3Ws:

  • 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

Staying Well

Practicing general wellness during these difficult times can help improve an individual’s likelihood of preventing or recovering from illness due to COVID-19. One of the main defenses we have against COVID-19 is hand washing. It can be difficult to get in the habit of proper handwashing, especially for kids. The CDC recommends you follow these five steps every time for proper hand washing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of this process for both kids and adults is assuring you wash for 20 seconds straight. Experts recommend singing songs and one of the most popular recommendations is “Happy Birthday.” If your family is looking for additional inspiration try singing Row Row Row Your Boat, or If You’re Happy and You Know it and replace the words with “wash your hands.” This is sure to keep your little ones more engaged and washing for 20 seconds each time.

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.

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.