DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #69 | Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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

DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #69
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
3:45 p.m.

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 1,286, of which there are 81 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 1,286 cases, 833 are residents and 453 are non-residents. Currently, 7 residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.

Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued Friday, December 11, 2020, there have been 50 new positive cases. Of the 50 new cases since December 11th, 30 are residents and 20 are non-residents.

Of the 30 resident cases since Friday, December 11th:

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

  • 2 of the cases are connected. Both are symptomatic. One individual acquired the virus from direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County and then spread the virus to the other individual.

  • 7 of the cases are not connected. 6 are symptomatic and 1 is asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 11 cases are not connected. 8 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals whose positive test results were reported between 12/5 and 12/14.

  • 8 of the cases are not connected. 5 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

  Of the 20 non-resident cases since Friday, December 11th:

  • 4 of the cases are family members. 2 are symptomatic and 2 are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

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

  • 10 of the cases are not connected. 7 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals who tested positive outside of Dare County.

  • 4 of the cases are not connected. 2 are symptomatic and 2 are asymptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

Contact tracing has been completed on 44 of the new cases and direct contacts provided by these individuals have been identified, notified, and directed to quarantine. We are working with the other 6 individuals to identify and notify their direct contacts.

COVID-19 Vaccine 

Our department has been working closely with the state for the past couple of months on the county COVID vaccination plan. The county plan is directed by the state and federal government.

Information on the vaccination plan is rapidly evolving. We have established a new webpage on our website to provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine. We are required to follow the state’s prioritization groupings when administering the vaccine. We are not permitted to locally change the prioritizations groups.

When registration opens for the general public according to the required Prioritization Groups we will post that information on the newly created Vaccine webpage.

We still do not know when or how much vaccine we will be receiving. As soon as we have that information we will share that on the new webpage. We will also advise the public on where we are in the vaccination process as it relates to which Priority Group we are currently vaccinating.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine please visit the NC DHHS website: www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.

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 1,055 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 22,952.  There were 102 positive cases between December 7 and December 13. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased to 5.52%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week alone was 9.67%. Syndromic surveillance of  the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms in the later part of the week. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.

Controlling the Spread

The vast majority of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County are linked to direct contact between close friends and families. You can protect yourself and others and help reduce the spread of this virus by practicing the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Please make sure you stay home if you are sick. Given how highly contagious this virus is, it is important to stay home and isolate yourself from others if you have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

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.