Dare leads region, second in N.C. for percentage of residents vaccinated against COVID-19

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chair Bob Woodard receives a COVID-19 vaccine in March. [Courtesy Dare County]

Just over 55 percent of Dare County residents are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and nearly 60 percent have received at least one dose, according to the latest health department update.

Both numbers are the highest of any county in northeastern North Carolina, and second best in the state behind only Orange County were Chapel Hill is located.

More from Tuesday’s weekly update from the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services:

COVID-19 Vaccine

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, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.

Since late December, a total of 21,969 (59.4%) of eligible Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 20,477 (55.3%) are fully vaccinated.

In addition to preventing serious illness and death, getting your COVID-19 vaccine prevents you from being quarantined if you are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, as long as you remain symptom free.

Dare County COVID-19 Case Update

The total number of new positive cases reported in Dare County over the past week was 19.

Of these 19 new cases:

  • 17 (88%) are symptomatic

  • 18 (93%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an unvaccinated individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

Currently, there are 14 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. There have been a total of 7 breakthrough COVID-19 cases reported in Dare County.

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 358 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 39,824.  There were 19 positive cases between May 24 and May 30. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 decreased to 8.14%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week decreased to 5.31%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers continues to show low levels of 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.

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Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3. Reach him at swalker3@jammediallc.com