No COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed on Outer Banks; county leaders call for ‘kindness’

Illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Dare County leaders are emphasizing the need for the community to practice social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while keeping a sense of positive community spirit and kindness to others.

Visitors and non-resident property owners are still not being allowed to enter, while no cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed by health care providers, according to the Dare County Control Group.

“Medical providers in Dare County continue to test patients who are symptomatic and meet criteria for testing which includes: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness,” the county said in a bulletin issued Tuesday afternoon.

OBX Today on Monday filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the county for the number of tests performed or samples sent for testing in Dare County. We have not yet received a response.

Bulletin #14,
March 24, 2020, 1:00 p.m.

We all recognize that times like these tend to bring out the best in people, however, occasionally the opposite can occur as a result of stress and fear. Our sense of community has always been strong when faced with adversity. Every person in Dare County is facing the uncertainty of this unprecedented crisis. Now is the time for heightened compassion and kindness. We truly are all in this together. There is no place for hate, ill will or labeling. Social media can be a useful tool for communication, but it also can be a platform for divisive and negative behavior. Everyone is encouraged to use social media to spread facts and information of support and care. Be kind to your neighbors and choose to look at the situation we are facing with understanding. Again, we are all in this together.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the nation continues to grow. In North Carolina there are 412 reported cases in 48 counties. Medical providers in Dare County continue to test patients who are symptomatic and meet criteria for testing which includes: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness.  We have not had any individuals test positive for COVID-19 in Dare County. When we do have a positive test result, we will share that information as soon as possible.

Dare County remains under a State of Emergency. Restrictions remain in place prohibiting access to Dare County for visitors and non-resident property owners. The Dare County Control Group continues to meet daily to receive updates and make any decisions necessary to protect the public health and safety of our citizens. These are difficult and uncertain times and some may be challenged in paying their bills during this crisis. Local officials and county and town staff will work closely with community partners to connect those in need with appropriate resources.  

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has compiled a North Carolina Business Relief Resources COVID-19 Guide with extensive resources available to assist businesses and employees through the COVID-19 pandemic. The webpage is being updated regularly with new resources.   

For an updated listing of local community resources, visit

Yesterday, Governor Cooper announced an additional executive order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 120 mandates all K-12 schools remain closed until May 15, 2020, bans mass gatherings of 50 people or more and requires non-essential businesses, where the ability to social distance is lessened, to close by 5:00 p.m. on  Wednesday, March 25, 2020. 

Businesses ordered to close include indoor exercise facilities such as gyms, trampoline parks, and yoga studios, movie theaters, bowling alleys, spas, sweepstakes/bingo halls, and other similar facilities. The order also applies to hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and massage therapists. The order also requires long term care facilities to restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, for example, an end-of-life situation. The executive order is available online at

Dare County
Large item pick-up for Hatteras Island and Martin’s Point is cancelled and will be rescheduled.  Sanitation services and the recycling centers are operating on a normal schedule. Please note: There is no cardboard recycling at the Rodanthe Recycle Yard at this time. Please bring cardboard to the Manteo Recycle Center or the Buxton Transfer Station.

The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to help address your questions on COVID-19 and can be reached at 252.475.5008.  

For updated information regarding Dare County services, visit

Town of Duck
To protect our citizens and staff, we ask you to call or email the office to ask how we may be able to assist you remotely. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.



Trash and recycling collection will continue as scheduled, with the addition of a residential recycling collection on March 30.

The Public Safety building is closed to non-emergency issues, including facility tours and the T-shirt shop.

The Town of Duck Police Department continues to monitor unoccupied properties throughout town. Should signs of unauthorized entry or other issues be observed, the homeowner or property management company will be contacted.

For more information, visit


The Advisory Committee meeting for the Comprehensive & Land Use Plan update scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 has been postponed.

Plans for streaming the Council meeting scheduled for April 1, 2020 are being evaluated. We will post instructions closer to the meeting date.

Town of Southern Shores

Following the Mayor’s declaration of a State of Emergency, the Town of Southern Shores is taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and staff in the face of growing cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 both around the nation and here in North Carolina.  Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 and continuing until further notice, government operations for the Town of Southern Shores have been modified in the following manner:

Town Hall

Town Hall is currently closed to the public and all Town Hall business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means.  Documents requiring delivery to Town Staff can be placed in the drop box located outside of the main entrance to Town Hall (nearest the flagpole).


The next Town Council meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2020 which may be subject to change.  The meetings of all appointed Town advisory boards, commissions and committees will be modified to reduce vulnerability of people and property of the Town of Southern Shores.  Meetings of groups not affiliated with government operations are not permitted in Town buildings until further notice.    

Building Inspections

Building inspections are still being conducted, however, meetings in person with the Building Inspector on-site are limited.  Inspection requests should be called in to the Planning & Code Enforcement Department by calling 252-261-2394 ext. 3 or email Dabni Shelton, Permit Officer at  


Permit applications can be submitted online by utilizing the link to Citizenserve on the Town website: The online portal will allow you to submit permit applications and view the status of your permits after they have been accepted.  Once you log in to your account for the first time, we ask that you click on the link to ‘Update My Information’ and submit the most accurate and current information for yourself or your business, including contractor licensing information as it appears on the State website.  Feel free to call the Planning & Code Enforcement Department at 252-261-2394 ext. 3 should you have any questions.

Trash and Recycling

Trash and recycling are being collected as scheduled.

Police Department Building

The Police Department Building is currently closed to the public and all non-emergent business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means.  If you have business with the Police Department and need to contact someone there, please call 252-261-3331 or email Jennifer Couture at  In the event of an emergency, please call 911. For all non-emergencies, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 252-473-3444.

Town of Kitty Hawk
All Town of Kitty Hawk offices are open normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). However, in the interest of safety for our visitors and staff, face-to-face contact will be limited.

Before visiting any Kitty Hawk office, please check the appropriate website or call to discuss the best way to conduct business.

Town Hall and Planning

(252) 261-3552

Kitty Hawk Police Department

(252) 261-3895

As always, call 911 for any emergency.  Non-emergency calls can be made to Dare Central at 252-473-3444. 

Kitty Hawk Fire Department

(252) 261-2666

Kitty Hawk Public Works

(252) 261-1367

Trash Collection is on a normal schedule.

The Recycle Center remains open, with normal operating hours.  Attendants will NOT be able to assist in the unloading of materials being dropped off at the Center. 

All Town Parks remain open at this time.  They will be professionally sanitized twice per week during off peak hours. 

We thank you for your cooperation and patience

Town of Kill Devil Hills
Social distancing is not just about your health. It is about the health of your friends, your family, and your community.

Social distancing is one of the precautionary measures that the Town has been practicing in an effort to keep both our Staff and customers protected.

Town offices are accessible by appointment only. If you have business with the Town call, email, or visit our website to schedule an appointment or to gain additional assistance. Even though we have adapted the way we serve you, Staff remain ready to provide you with the first-rate customer service that you are used to.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills is taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously. We need everyone in our community to take it seriously too. Practice social distancing. Stay home. If you must go out, limit the amount of time you are in public and around others. If you are around others, keep a minimum distance of six feet.

Together we will navigate these uncharted waters and together we will lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 wave in our community.

Visit our website for Department’s contact information and updates to their daily operations.

Town of Nags Head
The Town of Nags Head’s Capital Improvement Program workshop, originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, 2020, has been canceled. The Board of Commissioners will meet next on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9 am. Note -this meeting was moved from its original April 1, 2020 prior to the COVID-19 event.

To help our community get through these tough times, the Town is waiving online payment fees temporarily.

Thank you to everyone who has been conducting their business with the Town either via the phone or online.  We appreciate you limiting your visits to our offices.

As a reminder, water and tax bills can be paid via the drop box near the flag pole in front of Town Hall.

For additional assistance, please call the following departments:

Planning Department – 252-441-7016 / 252-449-2002

Building Permits – 252-449-6048

Trade permits can now be applied for and issued online. Additionally, in some cases we are able to make arrangements over the phone or by email to coordinate the submittal of building permit applications and materials, issue permits and take payments. 

If you need assistance or would like to discuss how we may be able to meet your needs remotely, please call 252-441-7016 or email

If you have other questions:

Receptionist – 252-441-5508

Water – 252-449-2004

Taxes – 252-449-2008

Town Manager’s Office – 252-449-2021

Town Clerk’s Office – 252-449-2009

Police Department (Non Emergency)– 252-441-6386 / 252-449-2026 

Fire Department (Non Emergency) – 252-441-5909

Public Works Department – 252-441-1122

Town of Manteo
The Town of Manteo’s highest priority is the health, safety, and welfare of community members, staff, and other stakeholders. We are working hard to maintain continuity of government while continuing to deliver critical services to the community.

Town Hall

Please call 252-473-2133 first to see if your item can be handled over the phone, online, or through other means. Access to Town Hall is limited to urgent situations only, and you will be required to ring the doorbell and use the intercom prior to entry.  

Water and Sewer

Utility payments can be made online at HTTPS://WWW.PAYBILL.COM/TownOfManteo or by phone at 866-245-5285. Also, payments can be placed in the drop box on the side of Town Hall next to the parking lot, or they can be mailed to P.O. Box 246 in Manteo (27954).

Clean tap water and sanitary sewer service are important in maintaining public health. Therefore, the Town has suspended disconnection of water and sewer service during this emergency period. Please note that all utility fees will still be charged.


Trash and recycling collection services are continuing on their normal schedules.

Permits and Inspections

Permit applications and inspection requests can be sent via FAX to 252-473-2135, e-mailed to, placed in the drop box on the side of Town Hall next to the parking lot, or mailed to P.O. Box 246 in Manteo (27954). Permit fees can be placed in the drop box or mailed to the post office box. If you have questions regarding your application, please call Town Hall at 252-473-2133.

Inspections are continuing, but contractors are expected to limit their presence to one person, with social distancing to be observed throughout the inspection.

Police Department

If you have an emergency, dial 911. For non-emergency situations, please call 252-473-2069 for assistance by the Manteo Police Department. Also, there is a call box located at the police department entrance, so please use this box especially if you are feeling ill or have been exposed to sickness.


In accordance with access restrictions under the Dare County emergency declaration, the Downtown Marina will prohibit visitors (from outside of Dare County) from docking or mooring at Town facilities.


Town of Manteo parks remain open, including George Washington Creef Park and Cartwright Park. However, park visitors are expected to avoid crowd-gathering and maintain social distancing.

Playgrounds and Public Restrooms

In accordance with the latest public health guidance, Town playgrounds are closed until further notice, including Collis Gallop Playground next to Cartwright Park and David Farrow Playground by the waterfront. Public restrooms are also closed, including facilities at Roanoke Island Maritime Museum, Cartwright Park, and Magnolia Marketplace Pavilion.

Board Meetings

The Budget Retreat with the Board of Commissioners scheduled for March 27, 2020 has been postponed. The Regular Meeting of the Boa

rd of Commissioners scheduled for April 1, 2020 will be held via telephone conference or other means in accordance with NC General Statute 143.318.13. The public will be allowed to access or listen to the meeting, and the access numbers and information will be published as soon as possible.

National Park Service
To minimize potential spread of COVID-19, consistent with federal, state, and local advisories, visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed. 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore 

  • The Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island visitor centers are closed. 

  • Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at

  • The Oregon Inlet Campground is closed. 

  • The grounds of the Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Light Stations are open. 

  • Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year. 

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NHS) 

  • The grounds of Fort Raleigh NHS are open. 

  • Fort Raleigh NHS visitor center is closed. 

Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM) 

  • The grounds of Wright Brothers NMEM are open. The collection of park entrance fees is suspended until further notice. 

  • Wright Brothers NMEM visitor center and the reconstructed 1903 camp buildings are closed.  

For National Park Service COVID-19 updates, visit  

The next bulletin will be issued no later than Wednesday, March 25 at 1:00 p.m.

About Sam Walker 1512 Articles
Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.