Dare County’s latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic shows new cases are continuing to grow rapidly, with 265 in the past week and nearly one in five tests for the coronavirus coming back positive.
Of these 265 new cases:
205 (77%) are symptomatic
201 (76%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
Dare County is continuing to see a significant increase in the percent positivity rate. For the past week alone the percent of positive tests to total tests for COVID-19 was 18.8 %.
The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 2,094, of which there are 203 active cases among residents of Dare County. Of the 2,094 cases, 1387 are residents and 707 are non-residents. Currently, 12 residents are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19.
Controlling the Spread
The vast majority of new cases of COVID-19 in Dare County continue to be linked to direct contact between close friends, co-workers and families. The vast majority of those who are acquiring the virus are contracting it from direct contact with asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals. This means that they are exposed to an individual who had been exposed and acquired the virus from someone else but was with others before they knew they were a direct contact or were symptomatic.
This is why it is so important to follow the 3Ws to protect yourself and others and help reduce the spread of this virus. You cannot tell by looking at someone that they have COVID-19 or are contagious, Please wear a mask, wait six feet apart from others and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
The NC DHHS Vaccine Prioritization Phases have not changed and we currently remain vaccinating individuals in Phase 1b, Group1, individuals 75 and over. Details on the various Phases and who falls under which Phase is available on the Dare County website at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine.
Information to register for the vaccine may be submitted online at www.darenc.com/Register4Vaccine or by calling the COVID-19 call center at 252-475-5008. Please know, we are only receiving a very limited amount of the vaccine each week from the state. We are currently scheduling appointments for individuals ages 75 and over for clinics throughout Dare County, including Manteo, through the first week of February.
Dare County Department of Health & Human Services is strongly advocating for the state to increase our weekly allotment of vaccine doses. We have only been receiving between 200 and 400 doses over the past 3 weeks. We will schedule individuals from the appropriate Phase as the vaccine supply allows. Based on the anticipated number of individuals 75 and older who wish to receive the vaccine and the amount of vaccine we may receive each week, it will likely be the beginning of February before we can begin registering individuals in Phase 1b, Group 2.
Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:
Number of Tests
Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
COVID Like Illness Surveillance
This past week there were 1,412 COVID-19 diagnostic tests performed in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March to 28,534. There were 266 positive cases between January 4 and January 10. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in early March increased to 7.22%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week increased to 18.8%. Syndromic surveillance of the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms . These graphs can be found on the dare county website at www.darenc.com/covid19.
Food & Nutrition Services Update
Food and Nutrition Supplement recipients will notice an increase in their monthly allotments. Effective January 1, 2021, the COVID-19 Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 provided an increase of 15%. The increase is effective from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 and benefits will return to normal allotments on July 1, 2021.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.