Dare County sees highest weekly percentage of positive COVID-19 tests since late July

Courtesy Community Health Inc.

The latest numbers from Dare County on the COVID-19 indicate an upward trend over the past several weeks, with the highest percentage of positive tests since mid-summer over the last seven days.

The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 568, of which there are 17 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 568 cases, 309 are residents and 259 are non-residents. Currently, one resident remains hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications.

Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued Friday, October 2, 2020, there have been 8 new positive cases. Of these 8  cases, 6 are residents and 2 are non-residents. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases. 

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Of the 6 resident cases since Friday, October 2nd:

  • 2 of the cases are family members, 1 is symptomatic and 1 is asymptomatic. Both acquired the virus by direct contact with another family member who tested positive outside of Dare County. 

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with a family member whose positive test result was reported on 9/24.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 9/25

  • 2 cases are not connected. Both are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.

  Of the 2 non-resident cases since Friday, October 2nd:

  • 1 individual is symptomatic. It is unclear how this individual acquired the virus.

  • 1 individual is symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.

Contact tracing has been completed on all 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.

This past week we have seen an increase in the number of new cases. More notably, however is the increase in direct contacts associated with the new cases. The percent of new positive tests to total tests for this past week increased to 5.15%. This is the highest percent positive rate since the week of July 20th.  We recognize more and more people are re-engaging in activities and that brings more and more people together. Please understand the virus is still present in our community and remains very contagious. It is critical for everyone to be responsible and follow the 3Ws to help reduce the spread COVID-19. The 3Ws are really the most effective tools to help protect yourself, your family and our community. Please,

  • 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

Each week we review the 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 583 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 13,593.  There were 30 positive cases between September 28  and October 4. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March remained stable this week at 4.14%, however the percent positive to total tests for the past week alone increased to 5.15%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department showed relatively low numbers of individuals presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms. The local urgent care centers saw moderate numbers of patients presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms over this past week. These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19 



We strongly encourage anyone who is experiencing symptoms to be tested as well as anyone who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you have questions about testing or locations please visit www.darenc.com/covidtesting or call the COVID-19 call center, open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 5 pm at 252-475-5008.


Communications and Information Sharing

Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. On Tuesdays, we release a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. On Fridays a written update is issued. All released videos and written updates can be found on our website, DHHS facebook pageDare County Twitter page, and Dare Emergency Management Twitter page. If you would like to receive these updates directly to your email, please sign up to receive our enotifications.

New positive cases are updated on the dashboard on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page when we receive them. To find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in Dare County visit www.darenc.com/covid19. State COVID-19 data is available at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

Contact Us

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting www.darenc.com/covid19 or by visiting the CDC or NC DHHS websites. If you have specific needs or questions you may also call the Dare County COVID-19 call center open Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 at 252-475-5008.

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