As of Friday, no identified active COVID-19 cases in Dare

Published 5:32 pm Saturday, April 18, 2020

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On Friday, April 17, 2020, no identified active COVID-19 cases remain in Dare County.

Bulletin No. 45, issued by the county’s Joint Information Center, announced “the number of positive COVID-19 test results remains at 15. Fourteen have recovered/or are asymptomatically cleared (meaning they are seven days post testing with no symptoms) and one died.”

Dare County reports recovered cases, making possible the calculation of how many active cases are still in the county. As of Friday, the answer is none.

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The recovery number comes from Dare’s Division of Public Health staff that does extensive contact tracing and patient follow-up, reports Sheila Davies, the county’s director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

North Carolina does not report recovered cases, does not request the information from counties and has not implemented a process for collecting such information, says Davies.

About recovered cases, North Carolina Emergency Management’s public information officer wrote “it can be difficult to collect that kind of data, because the vast majority of people are not hospitalized and recover/are recovering at home. As we continue to build out our publicly reported data base, this may be something we add, but we don’t have it right now.”

The response added “but, on average, people with mild symptoms recover in about 14 days. For hospitalized patients who recover, it takes closer to a month to recover.”

The widely reported figure of total laboratory confirmed cases is cumulative. North Carolina’s first confirmed case was March 3. The total case number reported on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard as of April 17 is 5,859. Deaths total 152 and hospitalizations equal 429 with 87% of hospitals reporting.

The caveat, always stated, is “Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people in North Carolina who have or had COVID-19.”

At his 2 p.m. press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper pushed for more testing to arrive at a “true number of COVID 19 cases in the state.”

North Carolina’s total inpatient hospital bed count for ICU is 3,223. On April 17, only 915 remain empty. Total for inpatient hospital beds is 18,557 and 6,953 are empty. “Empty beds reflects beds which are able to be staffed but do not currently have patients,” states the qualifier.