By the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services
The number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County is 1,236, of which there are 85 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 1,236 cases, 800 are residents and 436 are non-residents. 4 residents are hospitalized from complications associated with COVID-19.
Since the last Dare County DHHS Update issued Tuesday, December 8, 2020, there have been 50 new positive cases. Of these 50 cases, 36 are residents and 14 are non-residents. Non-residents are individuals who do not have a permanent Dare County address listed on their license or identification card. This includes individuals who live in nearby counties, individuals who are temporarily living in Dare County for work or other related purposes, and visitors. The Dare County website has already been updated to reflect all of these cases.
Of the 36 new resident cases since Tuesday, December 8th:
4 of the cases are family members. Two are symptomatic and two are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual who tested positive outside of Dare County.
4 of the cases are family members. 1 is symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. It is unclear how the first family member acquired the virus before spreading it to the other family members.
2 of the cases are family members. Both are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 12/7.
3 of the cases are family members. All are symptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive test result was reported on 12/8.
14 of the cases are not connected. 11 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals whose positive test results were reported between 11/30 and 12/9.
9 of the cases are not connected. 7 are symptomatic and 2 are It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.
Of the 14 new non-resident cases since Tuesday, December 8th:
11 of the cases are not connected. 9 are symptomatic and 3 are asymptomatic. All acquired the virus by direct contact with individuals who tested positive outside of Dare County.
3 of the cases are not connected. All are symptomatic. It is unclear how these individuals acquired the virus.
Contact tracing has been completed on 46 new cases and direct contacts provided by these individuals have been identified, notified, and directed to quarantine. We are working with the other 4 individuals to identify and notify their direct contacts.
Controlling the Spread
COVID-19 remains a very contagious virus and it is predominantly being spread by direct contact between friends and family members. We cannot stress enough the importance of everyone doing their part to reduce the spread of this virus by using the proven tools available – the 3 Ws. Please be responsible, protect yourself and others by following the 3Ws:
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
Mental Health, COVID-19, and the Holidays
Mental health experts agree that the holidays can amplify mental health struggles. Individuals living with a mental health condition may find the holidays more difficult due to inconsistencies in plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on how to cope this holiday season, please visit Mental Health America’s website. If you are concerned that you could be dealing with more than stress, consider taking an online screening and reaching out for assistance.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please do not be ashamed to reach out for help. Dare County has a variety of resources available to help individuals struggling with mental health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on Mental Health Resources in Dare County, please visit www.darenc.com/covidresources or www.breakthestigmaobx.com
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. Testing is widely available in Dare County. Please visit www.darenc.com/covidtesting for details on testing locations .
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 page, Dare 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.
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.