Dare County sees encouraging turn in COVID-19 cases

Over this past week, Dare County had the lowest number of new positive coronavirus cases since the week of June 15, despite having the highest number of tests performed in this particular week.

As of Tuesday, the total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 360, of which 23 are considered active cases. Of the 360 cases, 203 are residents and 157 are non-residents.

Dare County COVID 19 Update August 4, 2020 2:30pm

The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released COVID-19 Video #59. Health & Human Services Director Dr. Sheila Davies provides information on COVID-19 in Dare County.The video is available for streaming Dare County’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/DareCounty. It has also been shared on the Department of Health and Human Services’ FaceBook page and on Dare County’s Twitter account @DareCountyGovt. The video will be broadcast on Current TV Government Channel 191 for local Spectrum TV customers. CurrentTV’s programming schedule and additional programming is available for viewing on-demand at CurrentTV.org.

Posted by Dare County Department of Health & Human Services on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Since July 31, there have been 13 new positive cases. Of these 13 cases, six are residents and seven are non-residents.

Of the six resident cases since Friday, July 31st:

  • One of the cases is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 7/25
  • One of the cases is symptomatic and acquired the virus from a family member whose positive test result was reported on 7/29
  • One of the cases is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County

3 of the cases are not connected, all symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus, which indicates community spread.

Of the 7 non-resident cases since Friday, July 31st:

  • 2 of the cases are family members, both symptomatic, who acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.
  • One of the cases is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County
  • 4 of the cases are not connected, 1 symptomatic and 3 asymptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus, which indicates community spread.

Contact tracing has been completed on 11 of the cases and direct contacts provided by these individuals have been identified, notified, and directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the positive case. The 14 day quarantine requirement is very important to slowing the spread of the virus as the incubation period for this virus is 2 – 14 days. We are working to complete contact tracing on the other 2 new cases.

Despite the encouraging numbers, Dare County health official caution “we must all remain vigilant if we are to see this trend continue. Please follow the 3Ws to help protect you, your family, and our community from COVID-19.”

  • Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.
  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer

Key Metrics

Dare County DHHS monitors and evaluates 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:

Number of Tests
Confirmed Cases
Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
COVID Like Illness Surveillance

This past week there were 1,082 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County, 828 by local healthcare providers and 254 at the community testing event held on Tuesday, July 28th. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 7,491.

We had 42 positive cases between July 27 and August 2. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March decreased this week to 4.77%. The percent positive to total test for the past week alone was 3.9%, which is the lowest weekly percentage since the week of July 6th.

Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting to the emergency department with COVID-19 related symptoms increased slightly from the previous week. Local urgent care centers continue to see a high number of patients presenting with COVID like symptoms. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19

Testing

We will be partnering with Mako Medical Laboratories to host another testing clinic on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 starting at 1:00 p.m. at Dare County Parks & Recreation located at 602 Mustian St, Kill Devil Hills, NC. Individuals can register for an appointment for the diagnostic test, the antibody test, or both. Registration is required.

To schedule an appointment, please call 252.475.5008. The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Participants are required to send a photocopy of their government-issued identification card and insurance card prior to the event.

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