Checkpoint at the foot of the Wright Memorial Bridge on March 17, 2020. [Sam Walker photo]
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the nation and our state continues to grow. In North Carolina, there are now 255 reported cases in 39 counties.
Medical providers in Dare County continue to test patients who meet criteria for testing which includes fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness. At this time, there have been no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19 in our county, that information will be shared as soon as possible.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for each of us to do our part by following the social distancing guidance and other recommendations from the CDC and NC DHHS for the protection of public health. Every single person in this county plays a role in helping reduce the transmission of the virus.
Practicing social distancing and limiting direct contact (other than family members) are critical steps we all should be taking. The reason social distancing and direct contact are such important mitigation strategies is because the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and can linger on surfaces.
A study released by the National Institutes of Health reveals that the virus stays on cardboard for up to 24 hours and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. For more information on the value of social distancing please see our social distancing videoavailable on Dare County’s YouTube Channel, youtube.com/DareCounty.
To protect the public health and safety for our community, restrictions remain in place prohibiting visitors and non-resident property owners from entering Dare County. This decision was made by the Dare County Control Group which includes the Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the mayors of the six municipalities, the Dare County Sheriff and the Superintendent of the National Park Service Outer Banks Group. For updated information regarding entry guidelines that are in place, visit darenc.com/entry.
Residents are encouraged to rely on credible sources for updated information regarding COVID-19. Visit the CDC website www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or NCDHHS at www.ncdhhs.gov/cornoavirus. For information specific to Dare County, visit www.darenc.com/covid19.
The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to help address your questions on COVID-19 and can be reached at 252.475.5008.
For updated information regarding Dare County services, visit www.darenc.com/covidservices.
The Outer Banks Hospital
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in eastern North Carolina, The Outer Banks Hospital is now prohibiting all visitors. To accommodate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the following areas will allow (after an on-site screening) ONE healthy adult visitor:
o Maternity and Postpartum Unit
o Clinics located inside the hospital
o End of life patients
o Discharge pickup
o Emergency departments – pediatric patients and patients requiring assistance only
o Other situations on a case-by-case basis
Our Outer Banks Medical Group clinics are allowing one healthy adult visitor per patient.
Beginning Monday, March 23, The Outer Banks Hospital is rescheduling outpatient procedures and visits that can wait a few weeks. Examples include mammogram screenings, bone dexa scans, and some rehabilitative therapy. If you have a scheduled appointment over the next two weeks for one of these appointments that can be delayed, you will receive a call to reschedule your appointment.
The outpatient walk-in lab is open; however, we strongly encourage patients to delay coming in if their test can wait a few weeks. A good example of a lab test that can wait is an annual wellness lab draw.
The Outer Banks Medical Group is gearing up to offer virtual visits (phone or computer) for established patients in order to continue care and limit potential exposure to the virus. If you are an established patient of an Outer Banks Medical Group clinic and you need to be seen, please call the office to see what options are available to you and your unique situation. If you already have an appointment scheduled, our staff will be reaching out to you.
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 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 March 24, 2020 budget work session meeting has been cancelled. 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.
Building inspections are being conducted as normal, however, meetings in person on site are limited.
Permit applications can be found on the Town website (www.southernshores-nc.gov) 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.
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
Kitty Hawk Police Department
As always, call 911 for any emergency. Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444.
Kitty Hawk Fire Department
Kitty Hawk Public Works
Trash Collection is on a normal schedule.
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. They will be professionally sanitized twice per week during off-peak hours.
We thank you for your cooperation and patience.
Town offices are accessible by appointment only. Our regular business hours are M-F, 8-5 p.m. 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 www.kdhnc.com 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.
Throughout this difficult and uncertain time, we want to assure you that the Town of Kill Devil Hills is here for you. We are continuously working hard to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of everyone.
We are facing this pandemic together as a community. While we must physically stand apart (at least 6 ft.), it is vital that we stand together in solidarity. Take a deep breath. Proceed with patience. Be kind and help your neighbors.
The resiliency of our community is unmatched. We will get through these trying times together.
Town of Nags Head
Nags Head’s budget workshop to discuss the 2020-2021 Capital Improvement Plan will be held as scheduled at 9 am on Wednesday, March 25,2020. The workshop will be livestreamed and accessible via the Town’s web site at nagsheadnc.gov. There will be no vote taken regarding entry restrictions currently in place for Dare County. As is typical with budget workshops, there is not a public comment period scheduled.
We once again are asking the public to refrain from entering any Town offices, including Town Hall and our Public Works facility. The administrative offices of our police and fire departments remain closed to the public. To be clear, police and fire employees will continue to work and provide assistance. For questions or needs concerning police-related matters, call the Police Department at 252-441-6386 / 252-449-2026. For fire and rescue-related matters, call the Fire Department at 252-441-5909. As always, call 911 for any emergency. Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444.
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
There are no changes to our trash and recycling collection schedules.
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 (Seashore)
The Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island visitor centers are closed.
Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at www.recreation.gov. The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.
The Oregon Inlet Campground is closed.
The grounds of the Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Light Stations are open.
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 NHS are open.
Fort Raleigh NHS visitor center is closed.
Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM)
The grounds of Wright Brothers NMEM are open. The collection of park entrance fees is suspended until further notice.
Wright Brothers NMEM visitor center and the reconstructed 1903 camp buildings are closed.
The next bulletin will be issued no later than 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.
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