COVID-19 update from North Carolina and Dare County

Published 5:14 am Saturday, June 13, 2020

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North Carolina COVID-19 metric trends are increasing and state officials say they are concerned.

To flatten the curve, to reopen schools in the fall, to reopen businesses, “it has to be everyone working together,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Both Cohen and Governor Roy Cooper expressed concern about rising numbers.

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Lab-confirmed cases reached 41,249 across the state, an increase of 1,768 cases, the highest daily increase since the coronavirus hit North Carolina.

Testing has vastly increased and is targeted. Testing reached a one-day high at 21,000 tests this week. The average for the week is 15,000 tests daily.

The hospitalization metric showed 812 persons Thursday. The total reported on Friday is 760. Cohen said the state still has capacity. The state’s dashboard shows 21% of hospital beds are available and 22% of ICU beds are open and staffed. Some 888 ventilators out of 2,249 are in use.

Cohen says that this increase is the first wave of COVID-19 cases that North Carolina has faced. “We did not see an early spike,” said Cohen.

Cohen and the governor continued to repeat the mantra: wear face coverings, wait six feet apart and wash hands often.

On June 11, the Dare County Control Group met for the first time in almost a month. The topic considered was making wearing face mask mandatory.

States a media release, “the group determined that the wearing of face masks will continue to be strongly encouraged but not mandatory. The main reason for this is the inability to enforce a mandatory mask requirement.”

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert L. Woodard in a video message said that 10 new cases have been reported since visitors returned to Dare County on May 16. During the same time period, nearly 800,000 visitors enjoyed the Outer Banks. “I am thankful that the numbers have stayed relatively low,” said Woodard.

Woodward repeated the message delivered by state officials: “we must all remain vigilant and do our part to keep the numbers low. Wearing a mask, requiring masks in your local business, practicing social distancing and frequently washing our hands are proactive steps we can all take to protect our safety and the health of our community.”

Dare County’s dashboard numbers have not changed recently.

The latest COVID-19 update from the Dare County Health Department issued late Friday afternoon reports “the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare County has remained at 32 since June 7, 2020.”

The update says that the following trends have been seen in recent cases:

– Some acquired the virus by direct contact with an asymptomatic positive case.

– The spread of the virus occurred quickly among family members and members within the same household.

– There is an increase in the number of direct contacts associated with the recent positive cases.