Dare County now reports 42 COVID-19 cases

Published 1:36 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

According to the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services’ update on Tuesday afternoon, June 16, the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare is 42. Since the last DHHS update issued Friday, June 12, there have been 10 new positive cases. The Dare County website has been updated to reflect all of these cases.

Of these 10 cases, it is reported that five are residents and five are non-residents.

The five residents are symptomatic and reported to be recovering in home isolation. Four of the cases are connected and it is believed one individual acquired the virus by community spread and then spread the virus to three family members/close contacts. The other positive resident is not connected to the other four cases, however this case is also believed to be acquired through community spread as the source of how the virus was contracted could not be determined.

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Of the five non-residents, one is symptomatic and the other four are asymptomatic. Three of the asymptomatic cases are connected, according to DCDHHS. They shared a common household and acquired the virus through direct contact. The other two cases are not connected and it has been determined that one acquired the virus by direct contact outside of the area and the other likely acquired the virus by community spread when outside of Dare County. All five of the non-residents have returned to their county of primary residence and those cases have transferred to the respective counties.

There is no determined connection between the residents and the non-residents who recently tested positive. Contact tracing has been completed on nine of the 10 cases and all direct contacts of those nine cases have been notified. According to DCDHHS, the tenth individual has been unwilling to cooperate with the contact tracers at this point. DHHS will continue to pursue measures to identify direct contacts associated with this case.

Direct contacts are those who the individual that tested positive identifies as being within six feet or less for 10 minutes or greater. If the individual identifies someone associated with a business or restaurant or other establishment as a direct contact, but does not know the name or contact information of the individual, DHHS staff works with that place of business to identify the individual and obtain contact information. When contact tracing a non-resident, DHHS staff identifies any contacts the individual had while they were in Dare County during their contagion window. All positive cases are monitored daily throughout their isolation period. When a non-resident leaves the county, their case is transferred to their county of permanent residence.

Of the 27 resident cases, 17 have recovered or have been asymptomatically cleared, nine are active (one hospitalized and eight in home isolation) and one person has died. Of the 15 non-resident cases, seven have recovered or have been asymptomatically cleared and eight transferred to their home counties.

DCDHHS is finalizing plans with Mako Medical Laboratories for the next community testing clinic for diagnostic and antibody testing, which will be held on June 30. Since antibody testing requires a blood draw, not a finger stick, this event will be held indoors at the Dare County Parks and Recreation facility in Kill Devil Hills. Details including when individuals can begin to schedule appointments, cost of the antibody test, etc. will be released by the end of this week.

 

“It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for all of us to practice the 3 Ws – wear, wait and wash,” stated the DCDHHS press release. “Wear a cloth face covering when in public, wait at least 6 feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently.”

“Several of the recent cases occurred through asymptomatic individuals unknowingly spreading the virus to others. While there have been 42 positive test results reported to Dare County there are likely many more people who have the virus in our community who we do not know about,” the statement continued. “While contact tracing helps quickly identify and quarantine close contacts to help reduce the spread, the other ways to control the spread of the virus are beyond DHHS control and rest in the hands of the public. What you [choose] to do or not to do can directly influence not only your chances of getting the virus but also the chances others around you will contract the virus. Personal responsibility plays a key role in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

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