State and local COVID-19 update
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the following recommendation for vaccinated persons this past week. For this recommendation to be in effect statewide in North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services must also publish the recommendation:
“Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
– Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥ 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
– Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
– Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
“Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.”
The recommendation opens with the statement that there is “currently limited information on how much the vaccines might reduce transmission and how long protection lasts.”
And, vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks, wash hands properly and stay at least six feet away from other people.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was to release new resources and tools to help schools safely reopen and stay open for in-person learning.
South African coronavirus variant: On Feb. 11, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services reported the first identification of the COVID-19 variant B.1.351 in a North Carolina resident. The B.1.351 variant was first detected in South Africa in October and in the United States in January.
The North Carolina B.1.351 variant case was identified in a sample from an adult in the central part of the state who had not recently traveled. The specimen was tested by LabCorp and selected for sequencing as part of a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
North Carolina is the fourth state to report an identified case of B.1.351. As of Feb. 9, nine cases of infection with the variant had been identified in residents of South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.
Masks: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has additional recommendations to improve mask wearing based on guidance from the CDC. To ensure masks are as protective as possible, the recommendations are:
– Make sure masks fits snugly against face and covers nose and mouth. To help with a snug fit, one can use a mask with a metal strip along the top of the mask.
– Use two or more layers for face coverings. This can be done by wearing a cloth face covering with two or more layers or by wearing one disposable mask (sometimes referred to as a surgical mask or a medical procedure mask) underneath a cloth mask.
– Do not wear two disposable masks.
– Individuals should make sure they can see and breathe easily.
COVID-19 relief: On Feb. 10, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed COVID-19 relief legislation.
Vaccine distribution in the state will be helped with $95 million. The legislation includes $1.6 billion for schools to help with reopening.
The legislation allocated $2.24 billion in federal money. The bill passed both legislative chambers unanimously.
Purchasing groceries: North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services participants can purchase groceries online using Electronic Benefit Transfer cards through Instacart.com or the Instacart mobile app, providing access to an additional authorized online retailer, Food Lion.
Vaccinations: North Carolina is currently vaccinating all people in Groups 1 and 2, which include healthcare workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older.
On Feb. 24, vaccine eligibility for people in Group 3 will begin for teachers and childcare workers and March 10 for additional frontline essential workers.
More than 40% of North Carolina’s residents 65 and older have been vaccinated.
Dare County – On Feb. 11, Dare County announced that the county “remains in Phase 2 of North Carolina’s Vaccine Prioritization Plan and will remain there until the 2700+ individuals on the waiting list have been vaccinated.
“This is not a capacity issue, as Dare County has the ability to vaccinate 3000 individuals per day if that many doses are made available. Dare County cannot move to Phase 3 until North Carolina sends enough vaccines to complete Phase 2.”
Dare County had previously received vaccines to administer shots to 80% of the Dare County Schools staff along with law enforcement officers, volunteer firefighters and emergency medical staff.
The Outer Banks Hospital adjusted its visitation restrictions at the hospital, practices and emergency department, effective 7 a.m., Feb. 11. For the rules, visit theouterbankshospital.com/alerts/.
As of Feb. 11, 2021, Dare County’s death count remains at 12.
On the same day, the total number of cumulative COVID-19 cases in Dare County is 2,684.
Active positive resident cases number 125, according to the county’s dashboard, with 117 in home isolation and eight hospitalized.
In Dare County, those who are qualified to receive the vaccine can register online at darenc.com/Register4vaccine or call 252-475-5008. Those who register will be called to schedule an appointment.
As of Feb. 12, 7,929 first doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Dare County. Second doses numbering 1,550 have been administered, according to the state’s dashboard.
The Dare County Detention Center, Peak Resources in Nags Head and Spring Arbor in Kill Devil Hills remain on the outbreak list.
Hyde County – In Hyde County, telephone numbers to use for registering for a vaccination and to make an appointment are 252-926-4467 on the mainland and 252-489-3622 on Ocracoke.
On Feb. 12, Hyde County Health Department reported 628 total cumulative cases with 13 active positive cases. Deaths number eight persons.
In the Hyde County Correctional facility, one person has an active case of COVID-19.
Some 991 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 320 second doses, according to the state’s vaccine page.
Tyrrell County – On Feb.11, Martin-Tyrrell-Washington Health District reported that Tyrrell County’s total cumulative case number is now 289. Six individuals have died in the county due to coronavirus.
The Tyrrell County Work Farm reports no active cases on the state’s dashboard. Tyrrell House, a residential care facility, has three total cases, reports the health district.
In Tyrrell County, 557 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 118 second doses have been administered as of Feb. 12, 2021, on the state’s dashboard.
Wes Gray, health director, reports that the health district will receive 600 first doses of Moderna vaccine for the week of Feb. 15. Of that total, Tyrrell County will receive 100, Washington County, 100, and Martin County, the baseline 100 and 300 extra doses to address equity doses for marginalized populations over the age of 65. He does not know if the equity doses will continue.
Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank counties – Albemarle Regional Health Services has posted the following case information as of Feb. 11:
Camden: 509 lab-confirmed cases, with 39 cases now active. Camden County has lost five people to the coronavirus. First dose vaccines administered number 1,731 and second doses 676, according to the state’s website.
Currituck: 1,214 total lab-confirmed cases. Some 82 cases are active. Currituck County has lost 13 people to coronavirus. Currituck County has administered 4,686 vaccine first doses and 1,155 second doses, on the state’s dashboard.
Currituck Health and Rehabilitation Center remains on the outbreak list.
Currituck County is creating a pool of temporary, part-time employees to work at COVID vaccination clinics as needed.
Interested citizens may find an online application on the Currituck County website at co.currituck.nc.us/covid-temp-workers. For more information, contact Currituck County Emergency Management at 252-232-6012 or 252-232-6013.
Pasquotank: 2,879 lab-confirmed cases. Active cases number 77. COVID-related deaths in the county number 73 people. In Pasquotank, 8,116 vaccine first doses and 2,942 second doses have been administered. Citadel Elizabeth, Elizabeth City Health and Rehabilitation, Waterbrooke and Brookdale Elizabeth City are on the congregant living outbreak list.
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