DCDHHS’ COVID-19 Update #9
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Dare County COVID-19 Case Update
The number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County is 42. Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued, Friday, June 12, 2020 there have been 10 new positive cases. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases.
Of these 10 cases, 5 are residents and 5 are non-residents. The 5 residents are symptomatic and recovering in home isolation. Four of the cases are connected and it is believed one individual acquired the virus by community spread and then spread the virus to 3 family members/close contacts. The other positive resident is not connected to the other 4 cases, however this case is also believed to be acquired through community spread as the source of how the virus was contracted could not be determined.
Of the 5 non-residents, 1 is symptomatic and the other 4 are asymptomatic. Three of the asymptomatic cases are connected. They shared a common household and acquired the virus through direct contact. The other two cases are not connected and it has been determined that one acquired the virus by direct contact outside of the area and the other likely acquired the virus by community spread when outside of Dare County. All 5 of the non-residents have returned to their County of primary residence and those cases have transferred to the respective counties.
There is no determined connection between the residents and the non-residents who recently tested positive. Contact tracing has been completed on 9 of the 10 cases and all direct contacts of those 9 cases have been notified. The 10th individual has been unwilling to cooperate with the contact tracers at this point. DHHS will continue to pursue measures to identify direct contacts associated with this case.
Direct contacts are those who the individual that tested positive identifies as being within 6 feet or less for 10 minutes or greater. If the individual identifies someone associated with a business or restaurant or other establishment as a direct contact but does not know the name or contact information of the individual, DHHS staff works with that place of business to identify the individual and obtain contact information. When contact tracing a non-resident, DHHS staff identifies any contacts the individual had while they were in Dare County during their contagion window. All positive cases are monitored daily throughout their isolation period. When a non-resident leaves the county their case is transferred to their county of permanent residence.
3Ws – Do Your Part to Reduce the Spread!
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for all of us to practice the 3 Ws – wear, wait and wash. Wear a cloth face covering when in public, wait at least 6 feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently.
Several of the recent cases occurred through asymptomatic individuals unknowingly spreading the virus to others. While there have been 42 positive test results reported to Dare County there are likely many more people who have the virus in our community who we do not know about. While contact tracing helps quickly identify and quarantine close contacts to help reduce the spread, the other ways to control the spread of the virus are beyond DHHS control and rest in the hands of the public. What you chose to do or not to do can directly influence not only your chances of getting the virus but also the chances others around you will contract the virus. Personal responsibility plays a key role in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Dare County DHHS monitors and evaluates 4 key metrics associates 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
While the previous 2 weeks had an overall higher number of diagnostic tests performed,179 and 205, respectively, those occurred at the drive through testing events. This past week had the highest number of tests performed by healthcare providers in Dare County at 273 tests.This was an increase from the 169 conducted last week. We had 3 positive cases between June 7 and June 14. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March remains low at 2.09%. The syndromic surveillance of individuals who presented to the emergency department with COVID-19 like symptoms last week remained low. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19
The Dare County DHHS is finalizing plans with Mako Medical Laboratories for the next community testing clinic for diagnostic and antibody testing, which will be held on June 30th. Since antibody testing requires a blood draw (not a finger stick) this event will be held indoors at the Dare County Parks and Recreation facility in Kill Devil Hills. Details including when individuals can begin to schedule appointments, cost of the antibody test, etc will be released by the end of this week.
Communications and Information Sharing
Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. On Tuesdays, a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued, and 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.