Dare County Reports 31 New COVID-19 Cases March 1-8
The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that the county’s COVID-19 data continues to trend in the right direction, with 31 new cases March 1-8.
For the eighth week in a row the number of new cases in Dare has decreased. Last week, there were only 29 new positive cases. Additionally, the percent of positive tests to total tests for this past week decreased from 7.7% to 7.5%. The DHHS is hopeful that between the growing numbers of people who are getting vaccinated and everyone continuing to do their part to reduce the spread of the virus, we will get on the other side of this pandemic sooner rather than later. The DHHS knows that the combination of vaccinations and following the 3Ws works. Flu cases this season have been nearly non-existent thanks to these control measures. Despite the COVID fatigue most of us are facing, please wear a face covering when in public, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
March 1-8, there were 31 new COVID-19 cases reported locally. Of these 31 new cases:
25 (81%) are symptomatic
23 (74%) 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 2,813 of which there are 11 active cases among residents of Dare County.
There is also good news to share about COVID-19 vaccinations. Over the past nine weeks, the DHHS has administered 9,398 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and 6,541 second doses. Over the next two weeks, they will administer an additional 3,050 first doses and 1,204 second doses.
Our local weekly allocation was increased to 500 first doses per week for the next two weeks. Additionally, the DHHS received approval for a special event request for 1,500 first doses to be administered this week. With this increase in vaccine allotment, effective today (3/9/21) the DHHS will begin accepting registrations for individuals in Group 4. Group 4 includes anyone 18 and older who has one or more high risk medical conditions and individuals who work directly with the public. More information on Group 4 can be found on the NC DHHS website at Deeper Dive, Group 4 here: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines/find-your-spot-take-your-shot/deeper-dive-group-4#essential-workers-not-yet-vaccinated
While the state’s Group 4 definition includes individuals 16 and over who have one or more high risk medical conditions, the only vaccine currently approved for use for 16 and 17 year olds is the Pfizer vaccine. The DHHS has not been receiving the Pfizer vaccine in their allocations from the state so they are not able to vaccinate 16 and 17 year olds. If they receive Pfizer in the future, they will open registration at that time for 16 and 17 year olds.
Anyone in Groups 1 – 4, may now go to our website at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine to complete the vaccination request form. Staff will then call you to schedule an appointment, as appointments are available. Please note, if you are in Group 4, it could take a couple of weeks before staff calls you with an appointment. Please be patient. How quickly the DHHS moves through the Group 4 registration list is completely dependent on they weekly vaccine allocation from the state.
If you have registered on the county website for a vaccine and no longer need your appointment, please email the DHHS at [email protected] so they can remove you from the waitlist. This will help them be as efficient as possible when scheduling appointments.
Yesterday, the CDC announced updated recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. Fully vaccinated means two weeks post your second dose if you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks post your single dose of the Janssen vaccine. While fully vaccinated people should continue to follow the 3Ws in public settings, the guidance states that fully vaccinated people may visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. The complete list of recommendations for fully vaccinated people can be found on the CDC’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
This past week there were 385 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 34,011. There were 29 positive cases between March 1 and March 7. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since testing started in March 2020 decreased slightly last week to 8.26%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week also decreased slightly to 7.5%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID-like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers, showed low levels of activity. 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.