Dare health director issues ‘call to action’ regarding COVID-19

Published 7:44 am Saturday, November 14, 2020

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On Friday, Nov. 13, Sheila Davies, director of the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services and the Public Health director, issued a “call to action.”

Said Davies: “We must address the growing number of new cases we are seeing in Dare County. Our cases are growing exponentially and I am concerned that the worst of the pandemic still lies ahead. As we head closer to the holiday season with more and more people gathering together and those gatherings moving indoors we will continue to see growing numbers of cases if we don’t take action.

“In less than two weeks, we have had 162 new positive cases in Dare County. 77% of these cases are local, 86% are symptomatic and 75% acquired the virus by direct contact.”

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Davies debunks that grocery stores and gas stations are the links to the spread.

“The rise in cases is linked to friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors gathering with one another in social settings, in backyards, and driveways and living rooms, in churches, youth groups, in work break rooms, and at sleepovers.

“In general, people are overly comfortable and casual in these settings. You feel safe and secure around those who you are close with, but I can’t stress enough that your decision to wear a mask and physical distance can’t be based on how well you know, like or trust someone, it needs to be about how much you care about them and how important it is to keep them safe.

On Nov. 13, Davies said, “I am making a call to action. A plea for everyone to mask up if you will be with others. Masks, if worn properly, over the mouth and nose, and worn in conjunction with practicing physical distancing and good hand hygiene can reduce the spread of this virus.”

Friday’s total, cumulative COVID-19 case total is 865 people in Dare County.

The new daily case number is 18, bringing the number of county residents with a positive case count to 532. Of that number, 84 cases are active, with 79 in home isolation and five people hospitalized.

“There isn’t a magic solution to this outbreak – the solution rests in hard work and self-discipline. I want the spread of this virus to slow down, I want our community to be healthy and well, I want the days of 18, and 20 and 24 new cases a day to stop,” pleads Davies. “But I can’t will the virus away. I need your help. I am pleading with the people of Dare County to take action, to get behind the mask and encourage your friends and family to do the same. We can do this! We can reduce the spread of the virus; we can get on the other side of this pandemic!”

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services warned that the numbers reported on Friday, Nov. 13 have problems. For hospitalizations, CDC required only those staying up to 21 days to be reported. The count now must include all COVID-19 hospitalizations, including those who stay longer than 21 days. North Carolina will experience a one-time increase in hospitalizations.

Next, a one-time artificial decrease in the number of tests, cases and deaths occurred on Nov. 13. The data will cover 10 hours as opposed to the standard 24 hours. Future data will cover the standard 24-hour period.

Hyde County – The county Health Department reports on Nov. 13 a cumulative case total of 181. One person has an active case. Five deaths in Hyde County are attributed to coronavirus.

Tyrrell County – Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District reports that Tyrrell County’s total, cumulative case number is 137 with 132 recovered. Two active cases exist as of Nov. 11. The health district is hosting a drive-through COVID-19 testing at Washington Regional Hospital in Plymouth Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Bring proper identification and insurance cards. “Nobody is turned away for inability to pay.”

Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank counties – As of Nov. 13, 2020, Albemarle Regional Health Services published the following case information:

Camden: 155 lab-confirmed cases, up by ten cases. Some 11 cases are active and 141 people have recovered. Unfortunately, three deaths have occurred.

Currituck: 268 lab-confirmed cases, an increase of 28 cases. Some 18 cases are active. Four deaths are recorded.

Pasquotank: 966 lab-confirmed cases. Active cases number 52, while 35 people have died.