Dare County Reports 153 New COVID-19 Cases Jan. 26-Feb. 2
The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports 153 new cases of COVID-19 the past eight days, Jan. 26 through Feb. 2.
Specifically, the total number of new positive cases was the lowest it has been since the week before Christmas. Additionally, the percent of positive tests to total tests for this past week decreased from 19% to 15%. While this is good news, it is still concerning to have such a high percent positivity rate, so it remains critically important to continue to practice the 3Ws: Wear a face covering, wait 6 ft apart and wash your hands frequently. Studies from the CDC indicate that your risk of infection if exposed to someone with COVID 19 is decreased by:
85% with social distancing
77% by always wearing an appropriate mask which covers the mouth and nose
77% by keeping duration of contact less than 15 minutes
67% by frequent handwashing
Of these 153 new cases:
135 (88%) are symptomatic
130 (85%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 2,592, of which there are 177 active cases among residents of Dare County. Currently, nine residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.
As shared last week, Dare County’s first dose vaccine allocation from the state has been dramatically reduced. The DHHS was informed last week that our guaranteed weekly allocation from the state for the next 3 weeks is 300 doses per week. The DHHS was able to secure through a special event request an additional 500 doses for this week alone but for the week of February 8 and February 15 they will only be receiving 300 doses for each of those weeks.
Looking ahead, the DHHS is supposed to receive notification by this Friday of what our weekly allotment will be for the next three weeks. As soon as we have that information we will be able resume scheduling appointments for upcoming clinics from our waiting list. There are approximately 2,400 individuals aged 65 and older who are on the local waiting list. Please be patient, you will each receive a call and get an appointment time as soon as we know we have vaccines available. Once the DHHS completes the scheduling of those 65 and over from the waiting list, they will be in a position to move to Phase 3 of the state’s prioritization phases.
The vaccine allotment issue is only related to first doses this week. For the over 4,500 individuals who have already received their first dose, your second dose appointment still stands. The DHHS is scheduled to receive their second dose shipments from the state 3 to 4 weeks after they received the first dose. The DHHS received its first shipment of second doses last week and are scheduled to receive their second shipment today. The DHHS has not been informed that there are any issues with second dose allotments.
Information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Dare County can be found at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine. General information on the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the state’s website www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
This past week there were 826 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 31,495. There were 125 positive cases between January 25 and January 31. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since testing started in early March increased to 8.1%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased to 15.1%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department and urgent care centers showed a decrease 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 Feb. 28 2021.