Dare nears 7,000 resident cases of COVID-19; new cases, positive test rate down this week

Dare County has nearly reached the 7,000 positive test mark for COVID-19 among residents, while seeing the number of new cases and percentage of positive tests decrease over the last seven days.

The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported 13 residents were hospitalized with COVID-19. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said a new record of 5,055 patients were being treated statewide.

The daily rate of positive tests in North Carolina is still coming in at one out of every three for an eighth straight day, with 36.3 percent positive reported on Tuesday.

Dare trails only Beaufort (10,683) and Pasquotank (7,213) counties for the most total number of resident cases in northeastern North Carolina since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

Those numbers only reflect tests conducted at labs and/or reported to health departments, and does not account for those who tested positive on at-home tests and did not alert officials.

Jan. 25, 2022 COVID-19 update from Dare DHHS:

The number of new COVID-19 laboratory confirmed cases reported to Dare County DHHS and the weekly percent of positive tests to total tests both decreased this past week. State and regional epidemiological reports indicate that the Omicron variant accounts for approximately 97% of the sequenced samples from our state and our region

The total number of new positive cases reported in Dare County for the past week was 624.

Currently, based on the reported positive cases, there are 297 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. There are 13 residents hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19. A resident case is considered active if they are in their 5 day isolation period or report being symptomatic beyond 5 days.

The reported positive cases only include laboratory confirmed cases reported by medical providers, urgent care centers, the hospital, or the state, which includes tests performed at area pharmacies. Self-reported, over the counter, home tests are not counted in the reported count totals, however contact tracing is conducted for the positive self reported cases.

Dare County remains in the red category on the CDC’s Level of Community Transmission map, which indicates a high level of community transmission of the virus. All 100 counties in NC are in the red category.  While Dare County remains an area of widespread community transmission, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, ages 5 and over should wear a mask when indoors in public settings. All individuals should consider wearing a mask when outside if gathering in large crowds. Individuals ages 5 and over should get vaccinated for COVID-19 to help prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death.

Drive-Thru Testing Available Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 2:30 pm

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group and Mako Medical are partnering to provide a Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing site available for anyone in need of COVID-19 testing. Drive-thru testing will be available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Dare County Family Recreation Park located at 602 Mustian Street in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Patients will not be charged for the test. Insurance information will be collected for those with insurance.

For fastest service at the Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing site, pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Individuals may pre-register on-line at https://bit.ly/nc-kdh-18931. Results will be available through the Mako Medical on-line portal within 48 hours from the test date.

COVID Vaccinations in Dare

All individuals 5 years of age and over are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available at numerous locations throughout the county including the health department and many area pharmacies like: Walgreens, CVS, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.

Individuals ages 5 and over should get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Since late December 2020, a total of 27,553 (74%) Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 26,293 (71%) individuals have been vaccinated with a two dose mRNA series or one dose or J&J, a total of 13.322 (36%) have received booster doses.

COVID-19 Booster Dose Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended booster vaccine shots for individuals ages 12 and older to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your booster dose five months after your second shot. If you received the J&J vaccine you can get your booster two months after your shot.

If you received a third additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna, that was originally authorized for immunocompromised individuals in August of 2021, it is now authorized for you to receive a booster dose. This does NOT apply to individuals who received a Johnson & Johnson primary vaccine. With the decreased booster waiting period of 5 months, certain immunocompromised people may now qualify for their booster shot. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have questions about getting a booster dose.

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services offers Moderna  and Pfizer booster vaccines. You may call your area pharmacy or call our Clinical Services team at 252.475.5003 (select option #2, leave a message if you reach voicemail) to register for a vaccine appointment,

For more information or questions about COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, please visit www.darenc.com.COVID/vaccine

Flu Vaccine and COVID-19

Individuals ages 6 months and older are encouraged to get vaccinated for influenza. You may contact our department, your pharmacy, or area healthcare provider to get your vaccine. Our department is currently offering flu vaccines at no cost to you. Please make an appointment by calling 252.475.5003, selecting option #2, and leaving a voicemail if your call is not answered. Vaccination is the best way to reduce the spread of influenza and can lower the risk of severe illness resulting in hospitalizations and deaths. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same visit. While it is unknown what the vaccine effectiveness of this year’s influenza vaccine will be, the A(H3N2) component was recently updated and is genetically similar to A(H3N2) viruses currently circulating.

Key Metrics

Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:

  • Number of Tests
  • Confirmed Cases
  • Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
  • COVID Like Illness Surveillance

This past week there were 1,323 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests reported since early March of last year to 70,035.  There were 624 positive cases between January 17 and January 23. The percentage of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased again this week to 14.16%. The percentage of positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased slightly from the previous week to 47.17%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care have decreased. These graphs can be found on the Dare County website at www.darenc.com/covid19.

Communications and Information Sharing

Dare County DHHS has an established schedule of communication to share information regarding COVID-19. Every Tuesday, a written update which includes the previous week’s COVID-19 key metrics is issued. Additional updates will be released as needed. All released videos and written updates can be found on our website, DHHS facebook page, Dare County Twitter page, and Dare Emergency Management Twitter page. If you would like to receive these updates directly to your email, please sign up to receive our enotifications.

New positive cases this week will be updated on the dashboard and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page Monday- Friday. To find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in Dare County visit www.darenc.com/covid19. State COVID-19 data is available at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.

Contact Us

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting www.darenc.com/covid19 or by visiting the CDC or NC DHHS websites. If you have specific needs or questions you may also call the Dare County COVID-19 call center open Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 at 252.475.5008.