Visitor Access to Outer Banks Restricted Due to Coronavirus
UPDATE 3/20/20: Non-resident property owners are now prohibited from entering Dare County.
Visitor access to the Outer Banks is restricted due to the ongoing health concerns regarding the Cornavirus (also known as Covid-19) starting today (Tuesday, March 17), as local and national events have been canceled or postponed and bars, restaurants, and schools have been ordered to close throughout the state.
In response to updated guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to avoid discretionary travel and follow the national Coronavirus Guidelines for America, the Dare County Control Group has made the decision to restrict visitor access to Dare County beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Beginning at 2:00 p.m., checkpoints will be established at entry points to Dare County and no visitors will be allowed access. Permanent residents, non-resident property owners and non-resident employees of Dare County businesses may review entry guidelines at www.darenc.com/entry. Reentry permits from previous years will not be accepted. Staff was working to activate the online permitting system by 1:00 p.m.
To avoid contact with personnel, please display your permit on your dashboard so it is clearly visible for checkpoint personnel.
Visitors will not be allowed to travel through Dare County to access Currituck County (Corolla), Hyde County (Ocracoke Island), or Tyrrell County. People who reside, own property or work in Corolla or Ocracoke will be allowed entry.
Personnel working at the Emergency Operations Center are available to answer COVID-19 related questions using a dedicated phone line. Please call 252.475.5008. Personnel anticipates a high volume of calls. If you reach a voicemail, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
As of this writing (on March 17), there are currently no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, while there are currently 39 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina.
Yesterday the federal government announced guidelines and a plan to slow the spread of COVID-19. Dare County will adhere to the guidance from CDC and North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS). All Dare County community members should adhere to the guidelines that were issued and available at www.coronavirus.gov.
The Outer Banks Hospital has implemented new visitor restrictions. Only one immediate family member over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a patient at The Outer Banks Hospital and/or Medical Group clinic.
Starting today, Tuesday, March 17, The Outer Banks Hospital will begin screening patients and visitors for symptoms of illness as they enter the Medical Office Building and Main Lobby. Patients and visitors with illness will be masked and asked to sanitize their hands prior to going to their appointment.
All event gatherings of 10 or more people are strongly discouraged for the next 15 days, while events of 50 or more people are to be canceled, postponed, or modified for the next eight weeks, including concerts, conventions, festivals, and weddings.
LOCAL EVENT CANCELLATIONS
Numerous events scheduled on the Outer Banks have been canceled as a result of the ongoing pandemic, including Taste of the Beach, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the St. Patrick’s Parade, the Spring Scare Fair, and more to be announced.
Visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Hatteras Island, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island, and Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills are temporarily closed, effective immediately.
UPDATE (3/23/20): R/C Theatres in Kill Devil Hills is now closed as well, in accordance with the Governor’s mandate.
Additional cancellations, closings, and the most current information from the towns and the National Park Service is available at www.darenc.com/covid19.
**This post will continue to be updated as more news comes in.**