OBX reentry talks focus on scientific data, healthcare capacity and ability to provide essentials good and services

Vehicles being checked at the road block at Oregon Inlet. [Current TV image]

Dare County officials say they are closely monitoring local, state and federal guidelines on easing coronavirus restrictions.

“Local officials will continue to have serious discussions about ways to most effectively balance the health of our community and the economic impacts,” the county said in a news release. “They will base their decisions on what is in the best interest of our community based on the scientific data including trends and models that are frequently changing, the capacity of local healthcare providers, and the ability of local merchants to provide essential goods and services.

As of Friday afternoon, Dare County’s coronavirus case count continued to hold at 15, with 14 recovered from the illness or remaining asymptomatic. One patient died.
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In North Carolina, there were currently 5,859 cases of COVID-19 in 93 counties. There have been 152 fatalities in NC associated with COVID-19. As of Friday, the state is reporting 429 hospitalizations across the state from COVID-19 illness.

Within the past two days, both North Carolina and the White House have released guidance on pathways to open up the state and nation.

Both recognize the value the restrictive measures have had on slowing the spread of COVID-19 and both also acknowledge the significant socioeconomic impact these measures are having as well. The guidance from the state and nation is aligned with the understanding that the COVID-19 virus will be with us for a long time and the necessity of lifting restrictions incrementally. A phased reopening will help ensure that hospitals do not become overwhelmed and unable to care for severely ill patients.

During a Friday press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper said the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has convened a Testing Surge Workgroup to develop a plan to increase testing, which is one governor’s requirements for easing coronavirus restrictions. The plan focuses on increasing testing capacity, expanding testing sites and addressing supply challenges; ramping up staffing and technology to determine who has been exposed when someone tests positive; and analyzing new data, including number of new cases, hospitalizations, deaths, protective equipment, supplies, hospital capacity and more.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.