Dare health officials urge residents to get vaccine as summer season approaches – OBXToday.com

You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it. [CDC photo]

By Dare County Health and Human Services

The total COVID-19 positive case count in Dare County is 2,907 of which there are 30 active cases among residents of Dare County.

This past week there was an increase in the number of new positive COVID-19 cases in Dare County, at 52. More than ⅓ of these new cases were linked to small outbreaks among employees at 3 different businesses and nearly all of the remaining new cases were linked to direct contact between family members and close friends. The percent of positive tests to total tests for this past week increased from 8.13% to 9.76%.

Since our last report on 3/16, there have been 54 new COVID-19 cases. Of these 54 new cases:

  • 45 (83%) are symptomatic

  • 50 (92%) acquired the virus by direct contact with an individual or individuals who were positive for COVID-19.

    While the number of individuals who have been getting sick from COVID has been on the decline over the past month, this past week’s data reminds us that the virus is still present in our community and still very contagious.

    We have a great arsenal of tools now to combat the spread of COVID-19 including practicing the 3Ws (wear a face covering, wait 6 ft apart from others and washing your hands) and getting your COVID vaccine. Over the past 6 weeks we have seen  dramatic decline in the number of individuals 65 and over who have contracted the virus. In large part this is because this population was the first to be vaccinated and we had a very large number of individuals in this age group get vaccinated.

    We are pleased to share that there have not been any cases in Dare County of fully vaccinated individuals getting the COVID-19 virus. If you have not yet registered to get your COVID-19 vaccine, we strongly encourage you to do so.

    COVID-19 Vaccine

    Over the past 11 weeks, we have provided 10,628 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and have fully vaccinated 8,644 individuals.  Over the next week we will administer an additional 2,320 first doses and 600 second doses.

    A common question we have been fielding recently, is how many of our vaccinations are going to those who live in Dare County. Based on the data we were able to pull from the state’s COVID Vaccine Management System, 93.8% (17,065) of the 18,815 vaccinations provided by our department through 3/18/2021 have been provided to individuals with a Dare County address. The second highest geographical area served by our vaccination clinics is Currituck County. We have vaccinated 480 individuals with a Currituck County address. Our department has provided a total of 474 vaccinations to individuals who listed a permanent residence outside of North Carolina. These are individuals who may own property in North Carolina or who are working in Dare County on a temporary basis.

    As we move closer to the busy summer season we strongly encourage anyone who wishes to be vaccinated to please go to our website now at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine to complete the vaccination request form. Staff will then call you to schedule an appointment, as appointments are available. We ask for your continued patience as we anticipate it could take 1 – 2 weeks to get an appointment from the time you register on-line.

    If you have registered on our website for a vaccine and no longer need your appointment, please email us at [email protected] so we can remove you from our waitlist. Additionally, please only register one time through the website. If you are unsure if your registration was successfully submitted you may call us at 252-475-5008 or send us an email at [email protected] to check. This will help us be as efficient as possible when scheduling appointments.

    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 533 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 35,011.  There were 52 positive cases between March 15 and March 21. The percent of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased slightly this past week to 8.29%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week alone increased to 9.76%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers, showed 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 and a video update which includes an overview of 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 on our website and shared on the DHHS facebook page when we receive them. 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.

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