One of Dare’s Positive COVID-19 Cases is Refusing Contact Tracing

Posted By on June 16, 2020

The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services has received a total of 42 positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County, as of Tuesday (6/16/20), one of the most recent of which has so far refused to cooperate with contact tracing.

Ten new cases were reported since June 12, five of which are residents who are symptomatic and currently recovering in home isolation, according to today’s update from Dare Department of Health and Human Services Director Dr. Sheila Davies.

Of those five locals, Davies says four of the cases are connected, and it is believed that one of the individuals contracted the virus through community spread and then spread the virus to three other family members or close contacts.

The other positive resident reported recently is not connected to the other four cases, however, this case is also believed to have acquired the virus through community spread, though the source of how the virus was contracted “could not be determined,” according to Davies.

Of the five non-residents reported in recent days, one is symptomatic and four are asymptomatic. Three of those asymptomatic cases are connected, as they shared a common household and acquired the virus through direct contact.

The other two non-resident cases are not connected, as one has been determined to have acquired the virus through direct contact outside of the area, and the other likely acquired the virus by community spread when outside of Dare County.

All five of these most recent non-resident cases have returned to their county of primary residence and their cases have been transferred to the respective counties.

Contact tracing has been completed on nine of those 10 recent cases, and all direct contacts of those nine individuals have been notified.

“The 10th individual has been unwilling to cooperate with us at this point,” said Davies regarding contact tracing. We will continue to pursue measures to identify direct contacts associated with this case.”

While Davies did not state so outright in today’s update, it seems from the information provided that the 10th individual refusing to cooperate is most likely the one local resident case for which the source of how the virus was contracted could not be determined.

Direct contacts are those who the individual that tested positive identifies as being within six feet or less for 10 minutes or greater. If the individual identifies someone associated with a business, restaurant, or other establishment as a direct contact, but does not know the name or contact information of the individual, the department works with that place of business to identify the individual and obtain contact information.

When contact tracing a non-resident, the local department identifies any direct contacts the individual had when they were in Dare County during their contagion window. When a non-resident leaves the county, their case is transferred to their county of permanent residence.

“I feel like a broken record at times,” said Davies, “but I must stress again how important it is for all of us to practice the 3 Ws – wear a cloth face covering when in public, wait at least six feet apart from others, and wash your hands frequently.

Several of the most recent cases occurred from asymptomatic individuals unknowingly spreading the virus to others.

Davies said today that there are likely many more people in the county who have contracted COVID-19 but have not been tested and we do not know about.

“What you choose to do or not to do can directly influence not only your chances of getting the virus, but also the chances of others around you will contract the virus,” explains Davies. “Personal responsibility plays a key role in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

A third local community testing clinic event, to include diagnostic and antibody testing has been announced for Tuesday, June 30 at the Dare County Parks and Recreation facility in Kill Devil Hills.

You can watch today’s update from Dr. Davies in the video below.



Posted by Matt Artz

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