DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #95 | Tuesday, May 18, 2021

DCDHHS COVID-19 Update #95
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
4:00 p.m.

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

This week’s COVID-19 update includes very promising news. The total number of new positive cases last week was 13, the lowest it has been since the week of June 15, 2020. Likewise, the percent of new positive cases to total cases for the past week alone was 3.89%, also the lowest weekly percent since June of 2020.

Since our last report on 5/11, there have been 16 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 16 new cases:

  • 12 (76%) are symptomatic

  • 14 (90%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an unvaccinated individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

  • Currently, there are only 6 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County.

NC Mask and Social Distancing Changes

This past Friday, Governor Cooper announced that NC would no longer have a mask mandate. This follows a similar announcement from the CDC earlier in the week that masks were no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals. North Carolina’s decision to lift the mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, was because it is not feasible to regulate mask wearing for the unvaccinated. There are certain places in NC where masks are still required, regardless of vaccination status. These include: schools, day care centers, public transportation, jails and detention centers, and healthcare facilities. Additionally, businesses may elect to require patrons to still wear a mask. Non-vaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a mask to protect others from potential spread of the virus. Please be kind and respectful to those who choose to continue to wear masks as there are many reasons individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask.

While the mask mandate has been lifted in NC and the indoor and outdoor crowd gathering restrictions have been eliminated, please understand the virus is still present in our community and remains highly contagious. The best way for our community to stay protected from the COVID-19 virus is for people to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available at numerous locations throughout the county including the health department and many area pharmacies like: Walgreens, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.

Since late December, Dare DHHS has provided 15,955 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and have fully vaccinated 16,469 individuals. In addition to preventing serious illness and death, getting your COVID-19 vaccine prevents you from being quarantined if you are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, as long as you remain symptom free. While there have been 5 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 reported in Dare County, there have been no reports of serious illness or death of anyone in Dare who has been fully vaccinated.

COVID Communication Updates

Moving forward we will continue to release a weekly written COVID-19 update on Tuesdays. We will update the COVID-19 Case Dashboard and Vaccine Dashboard on a weekly basis on Tuesdays. Video updates will be provided as needed when there are significant changes in data, covid practices and/or guidelines. Contact tracing, including notifications of isolation and quarantines, will continue on a daily basis.

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 335 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 39,157.  There were 13 positive cases between May 10 and May 16. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 decreased to 8.16%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased to 3.89%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers continues to show low levels of activity. These graphs can be found on the Dare County website at www.darenc.com/covid19.

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 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 and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page each Tuesday. 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.