DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #79
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Dare County COVID-19 Case Update
While the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County was less this past week than the previous 3 weeks, the percent positivity continues to grow. This past week the percent of positive tests to total tests was 19%, an increase of 3%. Since our last report on 1/19, there are 168 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 168 new cases:
114 (68%) are symptomatic
138 (82%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 2,468, of which there are 201 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 2,468 cases, 1,670 are residents and 798 are non-residents. Currently, 10 residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.
As we shared yesterday, we received very frustrating and dismal news that our vaccine allocation for this current week was cut by more than 50% and the state had instead diverted those doses to a mega vaccine event in the Charlotte area. This unexpected reduction in vaccine allocation puts us in jeopardy of having to cancel hundreds of vaccine appointments scheduled for this coming Friday, January 29th.
After considerable advocacy and begging, I am pleased to share that we have been able to secure much of the vaccine shortfall from some amazing hospital partners. We are still working to secure more doses for Friday in hopes that we do not have to cancel any appointments. Today, team members were calling many of Friday’s appointments to confirm their appointment. If you were scheduled to receive your vaccination on Friday, you will receive a call from our department by the end of the day Thursday. Please be patient and wait for us to call you. If we are able to secure more vaccines, then the call you receive will be to confirm your appointment. If we do not receive more transferred vaccines this week, then the call you will receive will be to reschedule your appointment, hopefully for next week.
I cannot thank Ronnie Sloan, President of the Outer Banks Hospital, enough for the generous transfer of doses. Additionally, we are grateful to Onslow Memorial Hospital for their generous transfer of doses as well. We are truly blessed to have such extraordinary partnerships across eastern North Carolina to support the betterment of Dare County.
Looking ahead, we are supposed to receive notification by this Friday of what our weekly allotment will be for the next 3 weeks. As soon as we have that information we will be able resume scheduling appointments for upcoming clinics from our waiting list. There are approximately 2,400 individuals aged 65 and older who are on our waiting list. Please be patient, you will each receive a call and get an appointment time as soon as we know we have vaccines available. Once we complete the scheduling of those 65 and over from the waiting list we will be in a position to move to Phase 3 of the state’s prioritization phases.
The vaccine allotment issue is only related to first doses this week. For the over 4,500 individuals who have already received their first dose, your second dose appointment still stands. We are scheduled to receive our second dose shipments from the state 3 – 4 weeks after we received the first dose. We received our first shipment of second doses last week and are scheduled to receive our second shipment today. We have not been informed that there are any issues with second dose allotments.
Information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Dare County can be found at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine. General information on the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the state’s website www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:
Number of Tests
Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
COVID Like Illness Surveillance
This past week there were 877 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 30,669. There were 167 positive cases between January 18 and January 24. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased to 7.9%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week increased to 19%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department and urgent care centers showed a decrease in individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.
Controlling the Spread
The amount of viral spread in Dare County continues to be significant. The vast majority of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County continue to be linked to direct contact between close friends, co-workers and families. We encourage everyone to follow the 3Ws to protect yourself and others and help reduce the spread of this virus. Please wear a mask, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Communications and Information Sharing
Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. Every Tuesday, a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. Additional updates will be released as needed. 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