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COVID-19 update: New cases set record number across state

On Dec. 18, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the state’s highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases with 8,444 new cases reported, doubling a record day reported just one month ago on Nov. 19 when the state reported 4,296 new cases.

“I am very worried for our state. Everyone must act right now to protect each other,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Do not wait until it’s you or your loved sick with COVID-19 to wear a mask, wait apart from others and wash your hands often. Do not wait until it’s you or your loved one alone in a hospital bed. Do not wait until you’ve lost a loved one to this pandemic. Take personal responsibility for you, your loved ones and your community now.”

State health officials advise people to avoid travel over the holiday season and only gather with people in their household. Those who absolutely must travel or be with people they do not live with are advised to get tested in advance, keep events small and outdoors, and always wear a mask.

In North Carolina, 2,824 people are hospitalized with coronavirus and 6,125 North Carolinians have died as a result of the virus.

Across the region, the impact of coronavirus continues to increase.

Dare County – On Thursday, Dec. 17, new cases numbered 14 people with coronavirus. On Friday, eight more new cases were added to the total. Seven were residents and one non-resident. Some 87 residents had active positive cases with eight hospitalized.

Dare County’s cumulative total of coronavirus cases is 1,328 on Dec. 18.

Deaths remain at five.

On the state’s County Alert System, Dare County is yellow, indicating significant community spread. Yellow is the lowest of the three ratings.

Regarding vaccines in Dare County, according to the Dare County Health and Human Services, vaccine has not arrived in the county as of Dec. 17.

The Dec. 18 bulletin from Dare County states: “DCDHHS has been informed by the state that we may be receiving our first allotment of vaccine for Priority 1a healthcare workers sometime next week. We have been working this week on enrolling these eligible area healthcare providers in the state’s vaccine registry. Please visit the Dare County website vaccine specific webpage for the most up to date information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Dare County. The webpage can be found at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine.”

Hyde County – As of Dec. 17, the cumulative total of cases is 232, an increase of nine cases. Some 39 are active, positive cases. Deaths from the coronavirus remain at five. On the state’s County Alert System, Hyde County is yellow.

As a result of the increasing cases, Hyde County has restricted public access to county offices effective Dec. 16. “In an effort to protect our staff and our citizens from the continued spread of this virus, we are restricting access to some offices. We encourage everyone to take advantage of other ways to do business, including over the phone, online services, and using no contact drop boxes. These changes will remain in effect until Jan. 5, at which time the situation will be reevaluated…. In all cases call before you come,” writes county manager Kris Cahoon Noble.

Tyrrell County – On Dec. 17, Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District reported that Tyrrell County’s total, cumulative case number is now 163, an increase of two since Dec. 14. Some 152 people have recovered. On Dec. 17, eight cases were active. Three individuals have died in the county due to coronavirus. On the County Alert System, Tyrrell County is yellow.

Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank counties – On Dec. 17, 2020, Albemarle Regional Health Services published the following case information:

Camden: 236 lab-confirmed cases, with 44 cases now active. Camden County has lost five people to the coronavirus. Camden is experiencing substantial community spread noted with orange, which is the middle rating of the three on the County Alert System.

Currituck: 522 total lab-confirmed cases. Some 158 cases are active. Currituck County has lost 10 people to coronavirus and the regional agency noting three recent deaths. Two deaths were associated with the facility outbreak at Currituck Health and Rehabilitation. One was not associated with a facility outbreak.

Pasquotank: 1,388 lab-confirmed cases. Active cases number 82. COVID-related deaths in the county number 37 people. In the County Alert System, Pasquotank is red, signifying critical community spread.

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