Dare COVID numbers continue decline; KDH drive-thru test site now open 3 days a week

The latest report from Dare County Health and Human Services on COVID-19 showed both cases counts and positive test rates have continued to decrease over the last several weeks, while the drive-thru test site in Kill Devil Hills is cutting back its hours as demand has also decreased.

According to the weekly update released Tuesday, the total number of new laboratory confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Dare County for the past week was 253.

Currently, based on the reported positive cases, there are 72 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. A resident case is considered active if they are in their 5 day isolation period or report being symptomatic beyond 5 days.

But DCHHS noted again that the numbers do not include home tests as those tests are not reportable, and Dare County remains an area of high community transmission of COVID-19.

There are 11 residents hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, while hospitalizations statewide on Tuesday were below 4,000 for the first time since Jan. 10.

Change to Drive-Thru Testing: Now Available Monday, Wednesday & Friday

The Mako Medical Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing site is adjusting their hours of operation due to decreased demand. Drive-thru testing will be available Monday, Wednesday, and 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.

NC Homeowner Assistance Fund Offers Housing Stability for North Carolina Homeowners Financially Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic

North Carolina was awarded $273 million through the 2021 American Rescue Plan to support homeowners facing housing instability resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The NC Homeowner Assistance Fund, or NCHAF, is using these funds to assist eligible North Carolinians to help prevent and/or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Assistance is available up to $40,000 per eligible household, as long as funding is available, and will be made directly to the mortgage servicer or other eligible third party. NCHAF is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAF0019 awarded to the State of North Carolina by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

There is no cost to apply for NCHAF. To see if you are eligible to apply and to understand qualified expenses, please visit www.NCHomeownerAssistance.gov for more information.

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 27,901 (75%) Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 26,624 (72%) individuals have been vaccinated with a two dose mRNA series or one dose or J&J, a total of 13,643 (37%) 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/COVIDvaccine

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 546 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests reported since early March of last year to 71,402.  There were 253 positive cases between January 31 and February 6. The percentage of reported positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased again this week to 14.85%. The percentage of reported positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased from the previous week to 44.51%. 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.

Changes in Daily Case Reporting

Moving forward, we will be reporting cases on a weekly basis each Monday. Data and information on cases from February 7 to 13 will be released on Monday, February 14, 2022.

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.

Weekly positive cases will be updated on the dashboard and on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page each Monday. 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.