Area COVID-19 case count updates

Published 5:59 pm Saturday, August 15, 2020

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As of Saturday, August 15, the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services is reporting that the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Dare is 393, 12 of which are considered active in the county. Of the 393 cases, 211 are residents and 182 are non-residents. Four individuals – two residents and two non-residents – are currently hospitalized.

Since the last DCDHHS update issued Tuesday August 11, 2020, there have been nine new positive cases. Of those nine cases, one is a resident and eight are non-residents.

The one new resident case since Tuesday, August 11 is reported to be symptomatic. DCDHHS states that it is unclear how this individual acquired the virus, which indicates community spread.

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Contract tracing has been completed on the five of the six new cases and direct contacts provided by these individuals have been identified, notified and directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure with the positive case. DCDHHS is in the process of working with one individual to identify and notify their direct contacts.

On Tuesday, August 11, DCDHHS partnered with Mako Medical Laboratories to host an antibody and diagnostic testing event for COVID-19. Of the 108 diagnostic tests conducted, all were negative. Of the 86 antibody tests conducted, five were positive and 81 were negative.

In Hyde County, the Hyde County Health Department has reported that as of the afternoon of Saturday, August 15, there have been 56 total cases, with 17 of those active and 39 reported as recovered.

The Hyde County Health Department had released a statement addressing their recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, advising that while some cases are related to an outbreak at a congregate living facility, “community spread is prevalent.”

While the Hyde statement did not disclose specific information on the congregate living facility involved, county health director Luana Gibbs stated in a follow-up inquiry that “Proper protocols are being followed by both the facility and the health department. I feel confident that ‘this too shall pass.’”

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services summary report on congregate living facilities released Friday afternoon identifies the impacted Hyde facility as Cross Creek Healthcare with five total cases – three staff and two residents. No fatalities have been reported.

For Tyrrell County, the Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District reported Friday afternoon that one more COVID-19 case and one more recovery have been noted. That brings Tyrrell’s total to 103 positive cases, with 95 reported recovered and two fatalities.

The state’s congregate living summary had previously listed an outbreak at a facility classified as “other” on Road Street in Columbia involving 37 people originally identified on the list as “staff.” The Coastland Times reached out to representatives from MTW District Health as well as NCDHHS; both agencies declined to provide additional information on the outbreak. The summary released Friday now shows that the Road Street outbreak is considered over. Friday’s summery also moved all 37 cases from the “staff” column to the “resident” column. A footnote on the summary indicates the “other” category “includes homeless shelters and migrant worker housing, neither of which are licensed healthcare settings.”

On Friday afternoon, Albemarle Regional Health Services released updated COVID-19 case counts for the counties it serves, including Currituck County (78 lab-confirmed cases – 10 active and 68 recovered), Camden County (76 lab-confirmed cases – 27 active, 47 recovered and two deaths) and Pasquotank (436 lab-confirmed cases – 72 active, 432 recovered and 22 deaths).

ARHS also addressed the start of the 2020-21 school year and provided tips that can also apply to any type of school or childcare situation.

“Back to school planning will look different this year due to COVID-19. With many schools across the region implementing a variety of plans including in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning, our children need to learn new ways of staying healthy and safe,” stated the ARHS press release. “Going back to school will require schools and families to work together more than ever. Teachers and staff can teach and encourage preventive behaviors at school. Likewise, it will be important for families to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and to talk to your children about changes to expect this school year.”

ARHS has provided the following tips:

  • Check in with your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school. Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting or body
  • Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including flu. All school-aged children should get an influenza flu vaccine every
  • Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing and adjusting a mask or cloth face
  • Develop daily routines before and after school — for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional mask) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing masks).
  • Talk to your child about precautions to take at school such as, frequent hand washing, keeping physical distance from other students, wearing a mask and avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments and books.

“We know the start of school will look different from years past due to COVID-19. ARHS has been very involved with our local school systems in regards to reopening in a safe manner. We will continue to facilitate region wide group discussions to assist our school partners in aligning their plans and identifying best practices that will hopefully reduce the risk of COVID -10 among students, teachers and staff,” states R. Battle Betts. Jr., MPA, health director.

“Whether your children will be back to school in-person, hybrid or virtual learning this school year, our ultimate goal is for them to remain healthy.”



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