Dare County stresses social distancing in latest bulletin

Published 1:56 pm Sunday, March 22, 2020

The latest bulletin from Dare County Emergency Management, released Sunday afternoon, March 22, states that in North Carolina, there are now 255 reported cases in 39 counties. Numbers are on the rise across the country.

“Medical providers in Dare County continue to test patients who meet criteria for testing which includes fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness,” stated the release. “At this time, there have been no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19 in our county, that information will be shared as soon as possible.

“It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for each of us to do our part by following the social distancing guidance and other recommendations from the CDC and NC DHHS for the protection of public health. Every single person in this county plays a role in helping reduce the transmission of the virus,” continues the release, which also states that practicing social distancing and limiting direct contact (other than family members) are critical steps everyone should be taking.

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Social distancing and direct contact are important mitigation strategies is because the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and can linger on surfaces. A study released by the National Institutes of Health reveals that the virus stays on cardboard for up to 24 hours and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The county released the video seen below on social distancing:

 

“To protect the public health and safety for our community, restrictions remain in place prohibiting visitors and non-resident property owners from entering Dare County,” stated the release.

This decision was made by the Dare County Control Group, which includes the chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the mayors of the six municipalities, the Dare County sheriff and the superintendent of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group.

For updated information regarding entry guidelines, visit darenc.com/entry.

Dare County
Residents are encouraged to rely on credible sources for updated information regarding COVID-19, such as the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or NCDHHS at www.ncdhhs.gov/cornoavirus. For information specific to Dare County, visit www.darenc.com/covid19.

The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help address questions on COVID-19 and can be reached at 252-475-5008.

For updated information regarding Dare County services, visit www.darenc.com/covidservices.

The Outer Banks Hospital
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in eastern North Carolina, The Outer Banks Hospital is now prohibiting all visitors. To accommodate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the following areas will allow (after an on-site screening) one healthy adult visitor:

– Maternity and Postpartum Unit

– Clinics located inside the hospital

– End of life patients

– Discharge pickup

– Emergency departments; pediatric patients and patients requiring assistance only

– Other situations on a case-by-case basis

Outer Banks Medical Group clinics are allowing one healthy adult visitor per patient.

Beginning Monday, March 23, The Outer Banks Hospital is rescheduling outpatient procedures and visits that can wait a few weeks. Examples include mammogram screenings, bone DEXA scans and some rehabilitative therapy. Those with a scheduled appointment over the next two weeks for one of these appointments that can be delayed will receive a call to reschedule the appointment.

The outpatient walk-in lab is open; however, OBH strongly encourages patients to delay coming in if their test can wait a few weeks, such as an annual wellness lab draw.

The Outer Banks Medical Group is gearing up to offer virtual visits (phone or computer) for established patients in order to continue care and limit potential exposure to the virus. Established patients of an Outer Banks Medical Group clinic who need to be seen should call the office to see what options are available.

Town of Southern Shores
Town Hall is currently closed to the public and all Town Hall business is being conducted via phone, email, fax or other virtual means to the greatest extent possible. Documents requiring delivery to town staff can be placed in the drop box located outside the main entrance into Town Hall (nearest the flagpole).

The March 24, 2020 budget work session meeting has been cancelled. The meetings of all appointed town advisory boards, commissions and committees will be modified to reduce vulnerability of people and property of the Town of Southern Shores. Town staff will be in contact with these respective groups to outline meeting procedures going forward. Meetings of groups not affiliated with government operations are not permitted in town buildings until further notice.

Building inspections are being conducted as normal, however, meetings in person on site are limited.

Permit applications can be found on the town website (www.southernshores-nc.gov) by utilizing the link to Citizenserve.

Trash and recycling are being collected as scheduled.

The Police Department building is currently closed to the public and all non-emergent business is being conducted via phone, email, fax or other virtual means to the greatest extent possible. Call 252-261-3331 or email Jennifer Couture at jcouture@southernshores-nc.gov to reach the department. In the event of an emergency, call 911. For all non-emergencies, call the non-emergency dispatch number at 252-473-3444.

Town of Kitty Hawk

All Town of Kitty Hawk offices are open normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), however, face-to-face contact will be limited.

Before visiting any Kitty Hawk office, check the appropriate website or call to discuss the best way to conduct business.

Trash collection is on a normal schedule. The Recycle Center remains open, with normal operating hours. Attendants will not be able to assist in the unloading of materials being dropped off at the center.

All town parks remain open at this time and will be professionally sanitized twice per week during off-peak hours.

Town of Kill Devil Hills

Town offices are accessible by appointment only. Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 8-5 p.m. Those with business with the town should call, email or visit the town’s website to schedule an appointment or to gain additional assistance.

Refer to www.kdhnc.com for contact information and operational updates for each department. An updated list of cancelled town meetings and events is also available on on the website.

Town of Nags Head
Nags Head’s budget workshop to discuss the 2020-2021 Capital Improvement Plan will be held as scheduled at 9 a.m. on March 25,2020. The workshop will be livestreamed and accessible via the town’s web site at nagsheadnc.gov. There will be no vote taken regarding entry restrictions currently in place for Dare County. As is typical with budget workshops, there is not a public comment period scheduled.

The public is asked to refrain from entering Town of Nags Head offices, including Town Hall and the Public Works facility. The administrative offices of the police and fire departments remain closed to the public; police and fire employees will continue to work and provide assistance. For questions or needs concerning police-related matters, call 252-441-6386 or 252-449-2026. For fire and rescue-related matters, call 252-441-5909. Call 911 for any emergency. Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444.

Water and tax bills can be paid via the drop box near the flag pole in front of Town Hall.

Trade permits can now be applied for and issued online.

There are no changes to our trash and recycling collection schedules.

National Park Service

Visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore)

– The Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island visitor centers are closed.

– Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at www.recreation.gov. The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.

– The Oregon Inlet Campground is closed.

– The grounds of the Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Light Stations are open.

– Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NHS)

– The grounds of Fort Raleigh NHS are open.

– Fort Raleigh NHS visitor center is closed.

Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM)

The grounds of Wright Brothers NMEM are open. The collection of park entrance fees is suspended until further notice. The visitor center and the reconstructed 1903 camp buildings are closed.

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