In North Carolina and Dare County, COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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In North Carolina, lab-confirmed cases, deaths and hospitalizations increased in numbers posted June 30, 2020.

Cases increased by 1,186 to a total of 60,537 overall. Hospitalizations are up by 55 patients. Eighteen additional North Carolinians died, bringing the total reported pandemic deaths in the state to 1,343.

In Dare County, positive COVID-19 tests number 97.

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Since Friday, June 26, 20 new positive cases have been counted. Of those 20 new cases, 18 are residents and two are non-residents.

The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services issued an update Tuesday with the following information about the new cases.

About the 18 new resident cases:

– 12 of the cases are connected. The 12 individuals are close acquaintances or family members and acquired the virus through direct contact. Four are symptomatic and eight are asymptomatic.
– Three of the cases are family members, all symptomatic, who acquired the virus from another family member whose positive result was reported June 24.
– One is asymptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual whose positive result was reported June 24.
– Two other cases are not connected. One is asymptomatic and one is symptomatic and both most likely acquired the virus by community spread.

The two non-resident cases are reportedly not connected:
– One is asymptomatic and acquired the virus by direct contact outside of Dare.
– One is symptomatic and most likely acquired the virus through community spread outside of Dare.

“Contract tracing has been completed and direct contacts provided by these 18 resident individuals have been identified, notified and directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the positive case.

“Calls are made to check on compliance with the quarantine directive and legal action can be taken for individuals violating quarantine and isolation orders.

“Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

“Isolation and quarantine are public health tools to help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

“These may seem like extreme measures and we hope to never have to use them but they exist to protect the public from individuals who choose not to do the right thing, states the Dare County update,” reports the Dare update.

The community testing event with Mako Medical Laboratories on June 30 was full with 525 appointments.
Another community testing event has been set for July 9 at the Fessenden Center in Buxton on Hatteras Island. Call 252-475-5008 to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic or antibody or both tests.

Area healthcare providers are experiencing a delay in receiving results from the commercial laboratories. The turnaround time to receive results is now taking an average of four days.

This delay is being experienced across the region due to difficulty in obtaining the chemicals required to do the testing, reported Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Said Cohen at a Tuesday news conference, “pick up the phone if you see the local health department calling. Contact tracing is ramping up.”

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will partner with Omnicare, a CVS Health company, to make facility-wide testing available to residents and staff in all North Carolina skilled nursing facilities. There are over 400 nursing homes in the state with approximately 36,000 residents and more than 30,000 staff. Testing will begin in July and continue through August.

Cohen said the department will pay for this proactive testing.

Cohen also said that the current increases are now more spread in community than long-term care settings.

“We each have the power to stop the spread of this virus,” said Cohen.