Dare County announces additional COVID-19 case; governor considers face mask requirements

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Dare County Health and Human Services announced an additional COVID-19 case on Thursday, the 12th new positive test in less than a week.

The patient, a woman between the ages of 18 and 24, is a non-resident and is isolating in Dare County, health officials said. The new positive is Dare County’s 12th new case since last Friday, and the 44th since testing began in March.

Coronavirus cases across North Carolina continued to rise Thursday, with the state reporting 48,188 cases and 857 hospitalizations. More than 693,00 North Carolinians have been tested.

Gov. Roy Cooper said during a Thursday afternoon news conference that he is considering a face mask requirement statewide.

“I want to talk about strong proven methods to slow the spread of COVID-19 — face coverings and social distancing,” Cooper said. “Guidance from the CDC and other health experts is clear: these work. We’re looking at ways to increase the use of face coverings and I applaud businesses requiring them.”

Cooper said state officials are examining the issues surrounding a statewide face-mask requirement and noted that several local jurisdictions have already mandated them. Virginia also has a statewide mask requirement and coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths there continue to decline.

“This is a low-cost, low-tech way to protect ourselves and our communities,” Cooper said. “It’s an important way to slow the spread of the virus without hurting the economy.”

Last week, Dare County officials considered local face mask requirements, but decided against a mandate due to the difficulty of enforcing the rule.

Related story: Outer Banks officials consider mandatory mask requirement; decide against it

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com