Dare County COVID-19 cases continue to climb

For the third week in a row, Dare County is seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections. The total number of new positive cases reported in Dare County over the past week was 54.

Of these:

43 (80%) are symptomatic

51 (94%) acquired the virus by direct contact with unvaccinated individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

9 breakthrough cases reported this past week (3 had J&J vaccine; 3 had Moderna, and 3 had Pfizer).

Currently, there are 34 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. There have been a total of 28 breakthrough COVID-19 cases reported in Dare County since the onset of providing COVID vaccinations. However, the attack rate of the virus is much lower in the vaccinated population than in the unvaccinated population.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

Epidemiological data indicates the state and Dare County are at the beginning of another surge of COVID-19 infections. The Delta variant is believed to be prevalent in Dare County and is a significantly more contagious variant. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. People who are vaccinated are far less likely to get infected with COVID-19 than those who are not vaccinated. In the low percentage of breakthrough cases, individuals who are vaccinated are experiencing mild to no symptoms.

In addition to getting vaccinated, other ways you can protect yourself and your family include limiting prolonged direct contact with unvaccinated individuals who do not live in your household, wearing a mask when in large crowds, especially indoors, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.

Back to School Vaccine Clinics

Dare County Department of Health and Human Services will be offering two COVID-19 vaccination clinics (and the corresponding second dose clinics) prior to the start of the school year. These clinics will provide the Pfizer vaccine, which is authorized for use for individuals 12 years of age and over. In addition to preventing serious illness and death, current CDC and NC DHHS guidance states that individuals who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine if they are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, as long as the vaccinated individual remains symptom free. To register for a vaccine appointment please visit our website at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine to complete the vaccination request form. Staff will then call you to schedule an appointment. The upcoming clinic dates are:

Thursday, July 29th from 2:30 – 6:30 pm in Buxton

Friday, July 30th from 2:30 – 6:30 pm in Nags Head

COVID Vaccinations in Dare

All individuals 12 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.

Since late December 2020, a total of 23,220 (63%) of eligible Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 22,240 (60%) are fully vaccinated.

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 448 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 42,229. There were 54 positive cases between July 12 and July 18. The percentage of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased to 8.10%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week also increased to 12.1%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in activity. 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 are updated on the dashboard and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page each Tuesday. 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.