Video: Dare County update on COVID-19 response for Friday, March 20

Dare County Control Group Bulletin #9, March 20, 2020, 1 p.m.:

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The number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina continues to increase each day. Currently, there are 137 confirmed cases in NC from 28 counties, including one in Pasquotank County.

At this time, all but one case in N.C. has been traced to travel or direct contact with someone who has tested positive. Yesterday, there was an individual in Wilson County whose virus could not be traced to travel or direct contact which indicates the first case of community spread in our state.

While currently there are no individuals who have tested positive in Dare County, it is imperative that we all remain vigilant. To preserve public health and safety, everyone must use best practices for social distancing outlined by CDC and NCDHHS and encourage your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to do the same. This includes staying home as much as possible, avoid discretionary travel and if you must go out, avoid crowded places. Put space between yourself and others (more than 6 feet) whenever possible.

Testing continues to be provided for individuals in Dare County who meet COVID-19 testing guidelines outlined by the CDC and NCDHHS. The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services is following the same communicable disease reporting practices the agency uses for other communicable diseases such as HIV, measles, or STDs. Only positive case numbers are released, not the number of patients tested. This decision is made to protect patient privacy. When we have a positive test result, we will share that information as quickly as possible. 

Restrictions for Dare County visitors will remain in place until conditions and guidance from state and federal public health officials warrant revisions. Law enforcement is checking credentials at the checkpoints to ensure that government-issued IDs match the name listed on the entry permit or documentation being presented.

In the interest of health and safety, please keep your window rolled up and place your documents against the windows for officers to view. Please respect the guidelines that have been established and do not try to access the county if you are a visitor. For entry guidelines, visit

The Joint Information Center continues to work collectively to provide accurate and updated information from Dare County, the Towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo, the National Park Service, and other partners. Visit to access the latest information including a list of answers to frequently asked questions and links to sources for official information. 
Dare County
For updated information about accessing county services, visit

Playgrounds and public restrooms operated by Dare County are closed to the public. Parks are open but it is important to practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart. According to a recent study released from the National Institutes of Health, scientists found that the COVID-19 virus was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

Emergency Medical Services 
Effective immediately, EMS cannot provide non-emergency patient assistance unless a verifiable medical appointment exists. Citizens may have requested this service in the past on a non-emergency basis to help them in and out of their home for a variety of reasons. For now, medical appointments will be verified and these requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis and only if resources are available.  

The Outer Banks Hospital
The Outer Banks Hospital has implemented new visitor restrictions. Only one immediate family member over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a patient at The Outer Banks Hospital and/or Medical Group clinic.
Starting today, Tuesday, March 17, The Outer Banks Hospital will begin screening patients and visitors for symptoms of illness as they enter the Medical Office Building and Main Lobby.  Patients and visitors with illness will be masked and asked to sanitize their hands prior to going to their appointment.

Surf Pediatrics and Medicine
Surf Pediatrics and Medicine will continue to see all of their patients in their practice; for both well and sick problems. 
They will see well/non-sick patients in the Kitty Hawk office (252.255.5321).
They will see sick patients in the Kill Devil Hills office (252.449.5200).  
They do have the ability to screen and test patients for suspected COVID-19 illness.  Please continue to call them if you are a patient to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.

PORT Health
PORT Health is open and providing services. Next week virtual counseling and groups will be offered. Please call 252.441.2324 for more information.

Town of Kill Devil Hills
The Town of Kill Devil Hills is here for you, even if that looks different. While access to our offices remain restricted to the public, Staff remain ready to provide you with top-notch customer service. 

Access to Town Hall offices is by appointment only. If you have business with the Town call, email, or visit our website to schedule an appointment or to gain additional assistance.

Please refer to our website for Department’s contact information and updates to their daily operations. An updated list of cancelled Town meetings and events is also available on our website. 

While we choose to practice a “facts over fear” mentality, we are taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously. We have been applying precautionary measures in an effort to keep both our Staff and customers protected, as our priority is the health, safety, and well-being of everyone.

You can help protect our community by:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Utilizing virtual/online options
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Getting your information from reliable sources

We are facing this pandemic together as a community. We must proceed with patience, understanding, and a positive attitude.  

Town of Duck
Town Hall remains open, but we encourage you to call or email the office to ask how we may be able to assist you remotely. 
[email protected]

There is no change to the trash and recycling schedule, except the addition of recycling collection on March 30.

The Public Safety building is closed to non-emergent issues, including facility tours and the T-shirt shop.

Plans for streaming the Council meeting scheduled for April 1, 2020, are being evaluated. A final decision will be communicated the week of March 23.

To find contact information for online or phone orders from Duck shops and restaurants, visit

Town of Southern Shores
Following the Mayor’s declaration of a State of Emergency, the Town of Southern Shores is taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and staff in the face of growing cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 both around the nation and here in North Carolina.  Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 and continuing until further notice, government operations for the Town of Southern Shores have been modified in the following manner:

Town Hall
Town Hall is currently closed to the public and all Town Hall business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means to the greatest extent possible.  Documents requiring delivery to Town Staff can be placed in the drop box located outside the main entrance into Town Hall (nearest the flagpole).

The meetings of all appointed Town advisory boards, commissions and committees will be modified to reduce vulnerability of people and property of the Town of Southern Shores.  Town Staff will be in contact with these respective groups to outline meeting procedures going forward. Meetings of groups not affiliated with government operations are not permitted in Town buildings until further notice.  There is no change to the format or schedule of Town Council meetings at this time, however, they may be subject to change.

Building Inspections
Building inspections are being conducted as normal, however, meetings in person on site are limited. 

Permit applications can be found on the Town website ( by utilizing the link to Citizenserve.

Trash and Recycling
Trash and recycling are being collected as scheduled.

Police Department Building
The Police Department Building is currently closed to the public and all non-emergent business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means to the greatest extent possible.  If you have business with the Police Department and need to contact someone there, please call 252-261-3331 or email Jennifer Couture at [email protected]. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.  For all non-emergencies, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 252-473-3444.
Special Meeting Announcement

Notice is hereby given of a Special Meeting of the Southern Shores Town Council, Friday, March 20, 2020 at 3:00 PM, Pitts Center, 5377 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Southern Shores, NC 27949. The purpose of the Special Meeting for Friday, March 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm is as follows:

  • Cancel the previously scheduled March 24, 2020 budget work session;
  • Consideration of amendments to the Council’s Rules of Procedure allowing for cancellation or rescheduling (with appropriate notice) of meetings by the Mayor or any two Council Members during declared emergencies; and
  • Consideration of adoption of a policy for managing meetings with electronic participation of Council Members;

* In an effort to comply with social distancing guidelines for mitigating the potential spread of COVID-19, citizens who attend the March 20, 2020 Special Town Council meeting should keep a minimum distance of six (6) feet from others prior to, during, and following the meeting.  Seating in the Pitts Center has been arranged in a manner that complies with this guideline. For those who are unable to attend or choose not to attend the meeting, the Special Meeting will be video recorded, and the recording will be posted on the Town website as soon as possible following the meeting. 

Town of Kitty Hawk
All Town of Kitty Hawk offices are open normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). However, in the interest of safety for our visitors and staff, face-to-face contact will be limited.

Before visiting any Kitty Hawk office, please check the appropriate website or call to discuss the best way to conduct business.

Town Hall and Planning
(252) 261-3552

Kitty Hawk Police Department
(252) 261-3895
As always, call 911 for any emergency.  Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444. 

Kitty Hawk Fire Department
(252) 261-2666

Kitty Hawk Public Works
The Recycle Center remains open, with normal operating hours.  Attendants will NOT be able to assist in the unloading of materials being dropped off at the Center. 

All Town Parks remain open at this time.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Town of Nags Head

After consulting with Dare County’s Health and Human Services Department, the following playgrounds in Nags Head will be closed by the end of today, March 20, 2020: Town Park on Barnes Street, Dowdy Park, and Whalebone Park. All bathrooms at Nags Head’s parks and beach and sound accesses are closed.

Please understand that these tough decisions must be made to ensure the safety of our community. Police will monitor these areas, but we are asking the public to help us by staying out of the parks so that our officers can remain healthy and focused on more critical law enforcement duties.

Please do not enter Nags Head’s Town Hall unless it is absolutely necessary. Help us keep our community and our employees safe by conducting your business with the Town either via the phone or online. 

Water and tax bills can be paid via the drop box near the flag pole in front of Town Hall.

For additional assistance, please call the following departments:

Planning Department – 252-441-7016 / 252-449-2002
Building Permits – 252-449-6048
Trade permits can now be applied for and issued online. Additionally, in some cases we are able to make arrangements over the phone or by email to coordinate the submittal of building permit applications and materials, issue permits and take payments. 
If you need assistance or would like to discuss how we may be able to meet your needs remotely, please call 252-441-7016 or email [email protected].

If you have other questions:
Receptionist – 252-441-5508
Water – 252-449-2004
Taxes – 252-449-2008
Town Manager’s Office – 252-449-2021
Town Clerk’s Office – 252-449-2009
Police Department (Non Emergency)– 252-441-6386 / 252-449-2026 
Fire Department (Non Emergency) – 252-441-5909
Public Works Department – 252-441-1122

National Park Service
To minimize potential spread of COVID-19, consistent with federal, state, and local advisories, visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore 

  • Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island visitor centers are closed. 
  • Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at
  • Oregon Inlet Campground, the Seashore’s only year-round campground, is closed. 
  • The grounds of the Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Light Stations are open. 
  • The Ocracoke Island roadside cleanup scheduled for March 26 is canceled. 
  • Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year. 

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NHS) 

  • The grounds of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site are open. 
  • Fort Raleigh NHS visitor center is closed. 

Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM)

  • The grounds of Wright Brothers National Memorial are open. The collection of park entrance fees at Wright Brothers National Memorial is suspended until further notice. 
  • Wright Brothers NMEM visitor center and reconstructed 1903 camp buildings are closed.

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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