Dare Reports 195 COVID-19 Cases and a New Death Jan. 1-5, 2021
The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County continues to climb rapidly, with another 195 new cases reported in just the first five days of 2021, and a local resident died due to complications from the virus yesterday (1/4/21). The total number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County (as of 1/5/21) is 1,829, of which there are 183 active cases among residents of the county. Of the 1,829 cases, 1026 are residents and 623 are non-residents.
The DHHS has seen a marked increase in the percent positivity rate. For the past week alone the percent of positive tests to total tests for COVID-19 was 14.9%. Currently, 10 residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19. The DHHS received notification yesterday of another resident who died due to complications from the COVID-19 virus, marking the sixth COVID-related death in Dare.
Since Dec. 29, there was an increase of 269 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 269 new cases:
226 (84%) are symptomatic
218 (81%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
Controlling the Spread
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. As anticipated much of the rise in recent cases is connected to gatherings of coworkers, families, and friends around the Christmas holiday.
You can protect yourself and others and help reduce the spread of this virus by practicing the 3Ws – wear a mask, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
Information on the vaccination plan is rapidly evolving. The department is now accepting registration information for Priority Phase 1b, Group 1, individuals 75 and over. Information for registration can be submitted online at www.darenc.com/Register4Vaccine or by calling the COVID-19 call center at 252-475-5008. Please know, the DHHS is only receiving a very limited amount of the vaccine each week from the state. They will schedule individuals from the appropriate Phase as the vaccine supply allows. Based on the anticipated number of individuals 75 and older who wish to receive the vaccine and the amount of vaccine they may receive each week, it will likely be the beginning of February before they can begin registering individuals in Phase 1b, Group 2 for appointments,
Each week, the DHHS reviews the four 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 1,776 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 27,122. There were 264 positive cases between December 28 and January 3. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since testing started in early March increased to 6.62%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week increased to 14.9%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms . These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.
“Non-resident” cases are those who do not have a Dare County address listed on their identification card, including visitors, non-resident property owners, individuals living and working in Dare County for the summer, and those who may have recently moved to the area and have not yet been able to update their identification card.
Cloth face masks or coverings are mandatory to be worn in any public spaces where social distancing can’t be maintained in Dare County and throughout North Carolina.
Local and state health officials continue to strongly encourage everyone to follow the 3 Ws – wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people, wait at least six feet apart and avoid close contact with other people, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
In addition, there is currently a statewide executive order for everyone to stay at home from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. each night, unless they are at work during those hours, which will remain in effect at least through Jan. 8. 2021.