VIDEO: Dare County reports 206 new coronavirus cases in the past week

While statewide numbers have improved slightly in recent days, new cases of COVID-19 continue to grow rapidly in Dare County according to local health officials.

And Johns Hopkins University reported Tuesday the United States crossed the 400,000 death mark on Tuesday, nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in World War II.

Since Dare County’s last COVID-19 update, there has been an increase of 206 new COVID-19 cases.

“We are also continuing to see a very high percent positivity rate,” said Dare County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Sheila Davies. “For the past week alone the percent of positive tests to total tests for COVID-19 was 16.1 percent.”

North Carolina reported 4,058 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the lowest since Dec. 29. The number of people in hospitals statewide was 3,881.

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Controlling the Spread

The vast majority of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County continue to be linked to direct contact between close friends, co-workers and families. We are seeing a recent increase in viral spread in the workplace from prolonged exposure between co-workers. Workplaces should consider following mitigation measures that were used early on in the pandemic including encouraging remote work where possible, ensuring socially distant work stations, and limiting face to face meetings. The increase is workplace spread is not linked to brief interactions between employees but rather meetings, lunch gatherings and shared working spaces. As spread is increasing in work places this is also driving more spread among families as workers are unknowingly bringing the virus home to their families before they realize they were infected. We strongly encourage all workplaces to take whatever measures possible to limit prolonged direct contact. 

We continue to encourage everyone to follow the 3Ws to protect yourself and others and help reduce the spread of this virus. Please wear a mask, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. 

COVID-19 Vaccine

DCDHHS is currently scheduling vaccinations for individuals who are in Phase 2 of the state’s Prioritization Phases. This includes anyone 65 and over and healthcare providers.

Information to register for the vaccine may be submitted online at www.darenc.com/Register4Vaccine or by calling the COVID-19 call center at 252-475-5008. 

We have added a new vaccine data dashboard on our website so individuals can easily follow which phase we are currently vaccinating as well as see the metrics on doses delivered, appointments scheduled for upcoming clinics and the waitlist count. This information will be updated weekly on Mondays and can be found at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine 

General information on the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the state’s website www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.

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 1,258 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 29,792.  There were 203 positive cases between January 11 and January 17. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased to 7.6%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week was 16.1%. Syndromic surveillance of  the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms . These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19

Communications and Information Sharing

Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. Every Tuesday, a written update and a video update which includes an overview of the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. Additional updates will be released as needed. 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.

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