DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #57 | Tuesday, November 3, 2020

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

DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #57
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
3:00 p.m.

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 738, of which there are 44 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 738 cases, 426 are residents and 312 are non-residents. Currently, three residents and one non-resident are hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications.

Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued Friday, October 30, 2020, there have been 41 new positive cases. Of these 41 cases, 25 are residents and 16 are non-residents. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases.

Of the 25 resident cases since Friday, October 30th:

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/20

  • 3 of the cases, 2 symptomatic and 1 asymptomatic, acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/27

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/28

  • 2 of the cases, both symptomatic, are family members who acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/31

  • 1 individual is asymptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test was reported on 10/30

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/29

  • 3 cases are not connected. All are symptomatic and acquired the virus from individuals whose tested positive outside of Dare County

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 11/1

  • 2 of the cases are not connected. Both are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals whose positive test result were reported on 10/31

  • 10 of the cases are not connected. All are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

  Of the 16 non-resident cases since Friday, October 30th:

  • 5 of the cases are family members. 2 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. The family had direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 3 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 family members. Both are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 10/30

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 11/1

  • 4 of the cases are not connected. All are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

Contact tracing has been completed on 38 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. 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 and notify their direct contacts.

Slowing the Spread

The number of new COVID-19 cases is trending in the wrong direction. As previously noted, there have been 41 new cases in Dare County since Friday, October 30th. Twenty four of those cases were reported today. Over the past 2 weeks there have been 101 new cases in Dare County. 71 of those cases are residents and 30 are non-residents. The rise in cases in Dare County is not linked to testing. Despite testing being widely available, there were fewer tests performed this past week than the previous 4 weeks.

The rise in cases can be attributed to more and more people gathering together and a lack of adherence to physical distancing and wearing masks. Of the 101 cases, approximately 40% of individuals did not know how they acquired this virus, which indicates community spread. Of the positive cases associated with direct contacts over the past 2 weeks, we have seen cases linked to weddings, funerals, travel, co-workers, and gatherings of family members and friends.

We know interacting with others outside of your household increases your risk of exposure. That is why it is so critically important that if you are going to engage in activities with people outside of your immediate household that you strictly follow 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.

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 536 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 16,242.  There were 39 positive cases between October 26 and November 1. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased slightly this week at 4.37%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week alone increased from 5.22% for the previous week to 7.25% this past week . Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department and the urgent care centers showed an increase in the number of individuals presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms as compared to the past several weeks. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.

Testing

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. Testing is widely available in Dare County. Please visit www.darenc.com/covidtesting for details on testing locations .

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.