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Dare County COVID-19 case update

In the first two days of July, positive COVID-19 cases reported in Dare County have increased by 24.

On July 1, Dare County’s Department of Health and Human Services reported an increase of 16 additional cases. On July 2 at 2 p.m., the department reported eight additional cases.

The vast majority of cases – 19 of 24 – are in the 18 through 24 age group.

For the two days, non-residents numbered 15 and residents nine.

Twenty of the 24 cases are in isolation in Dare County.

In a message issued late on July 2, Dare County Health Director Sheila Davies issued statement reporting that over the past 10 days, 27 of the reported cases “are directly linked to spread that originated from individuals attending a large party, acquiring the virus and then spreading the virus to other friends and family members, one of whom is now hospitalized.”

She reported that that contact tracers “have been hung up on and spoken to inappropriately when they have called. Additionally, people have refused to cooperate, refused to provide critical information for contact tracing and indicated they will not comply with quarantine and isolation orders.”

Davies has issued formal isolation and quarantine orders to a number of individuals.

“A quarantine order is issued to someone who has been identified as a direct contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case and requires the individual to stay at home for up to 14 days. An isolation order is issued to an individual who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and that individual must stay in isolation until otherwise directed by the health department based on the presence of symptoms or time in isolation.”

Violating a quarantine order or an isolation order is a misdemeanor offense pursuant to NC law G.S. 130A-25 and punishable by up to two years imprisonment.

Davies is concerned about large gatherings occurring over the July Fourth weekend. “I cannot stress enough the how critically important it is to follow the guidance and NC Executive Orders.”

She summarizes those requirements: “Do not host or attend indoor gatherings with more than 10 people or outdoor gatherings with more than 25 people. Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from individuals who you do not share a household with, wear a face covering if you cannot socially distance, and wash your hands frequently.”

In North Carolina, on July 2, 68,142 total cases of COVID-19 are recorded. The daily total for new positive cases was 1,629, some 212 cases less that the record-breaking total from July 1. Hospitalizations increased by 11 to 912. Empty and staffed hospital and ICU rooms are staying steady at 22% available. Some 885 ventilators are in use with 2,525 available.

Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, reported that supply of personal protective equipment remains steady with a three-month supply at the current level of use. Of concern, said Cohen at a media event, is the supply of reagents required to run tests for COVID-19 tests. She reported that some results are delayed five to six days instead of the 24 to 48 hours that was the previous turn-around time.

“We really need to solve that problem,” said Cohen.

On July 2, in the United States, new COVID-19 infections reached 52,789, the highest single day total since the start of the pandemic, reported the Washington Post.

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