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Local and state COVID-19 update

On Sept. 28, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a Secretarial Order updating visitation guidelines for nursing homes to allow indoor visitation.

The order was effective immediately.

Indoor visitation will only be permitted in nursing homes with no COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and in counties with a percent positive testing rate of less than 10%, reflecting guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Dare County meets that 10% threshold. This past week, there were 631 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 13,010. There were 20 positive cases between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since testing started in early March remained stable this week at 4.10%. The percent positive to total tests for the past week alone decreased to 3.17%.

Throughout state’s pandemic response, its five-point strategy for long-term care facilities has focused on prevention, staffing, testing, outbreak management and oversight. The department’s universal testing strategy within skilled nursing facilities has been cited by the Rockefeller Foundation as a national model.

On Sept. 4, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law the Coronavirus Relief Act. This program provides funds to help families with qualifying children in North Carolina by providing economic support to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant amount is $335 total for each eligible individual, even if the individual has two or more qualifying children. Those who filed 2019 taxes do not need to do anything to receive the funds, however those who have not filed 2019 taxes need to go to the state’s department of revenue website to submit an application to receive the funds. The application deadline is Oct. 15.

The state’s guidance on Halloween, modeled after the CDC’s recommendations, outlines lower and moderate risk activities for Halloween this year. This guidance can be found at darenc.com/covid19 by clicking on the Halloween banner.

On Sept. 29, the total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 547, of which there are 15 active cases among residents of Dare County.

Of the 547 cases, 295 are residents and 252 are non-residents. Currently, one resident remains hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications and 14 are in home isolation.

Since the last Dare County Department of Health and Human Services update issued Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, there have been 18 new positive cases. Of these 18 cases, nine are residents and nine are non-residents. For non-residents, 61 have transferred to home counties and three are in isolation in Dare County.

In Hyde County, as of Sept. 29, the total case number is 128, an increase of one since last Friday. One case is positive now. Recoveries number 122. In Hyde County, five deaths have been reported.

Albemarle Regional Health Service reports the following as of Sept. 29:

Pasquotank County: 709 lab confirmed cases with 74 active cases. 602 have recovered and 33 people have died, an increase of two deaths.

Camden County: 115 lab confirmed cases with nine active, an increase of two. 103 have recovered and 3 people have died.

Currituck County: 184 lab confirmed cases with 40 active. 141 people have recovered and three people have died.

In Tyrrell County, numbers remain the same with 117 total lab-confirmed cases with 113 recoveries and three deaths.

On Sept. 29, North Carolina reported 209,137 total lab-confirmed cases. Currently, 950 people are hospitalized and 3,494 North Carolinians have died from this virus.

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