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COVID-19 update shows trends ‘moving in the wrong direction’

“This has been a long and challenging year,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “We have the ability to slow the spread.”

Cohen was speaking at an afternoon news conference on Oct. 13, 2020.

“Our trends are moving in the wrong direction,” intoned Cohen. Case numbers are increasing as are hospitalizations.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, North Carolina’s cumulative case total is 234,481, a 1,734 increase from Monday’s total. Hospitalizations are 1,103, a decrease of seven from Monday, but the seven-day rolling average shows an uptick. On Oct. 6, the number of people hospitalized jumped up to 1,023. In one week, the number increased by 90 patients.

Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association, who joined Cohen at the news conference, said “we can’t afford to go backward.” She said over 130,000 hospitality workers are sidelined because of the coronavirus. The association set up a program, now nationally recognized, titled “Count on Me NC.” Participating employees and owners of restaurants and hospitality locations are following guidelines and restrictions and have taken additional training and implemented new procedures in light of COVID-19.

“We can find that balance between protecting public health and igniting our economy,” said Cohen. Her message says the same, practice the three Ws: wear face covering, wait six feet apart and wash hands.

Jurisdictions in the region are reporting case increases.

Dare County

On Oct. 13, Dare County had a cumulative positive case total of 599, of which 327 are county residents. The total cases increased by 10 since Sunday, Oct. 11.

Active positive cases total 19, with one person in a hospital and 18 in home isolation.

Dare County’s Health Department reports that Peak Resources, a nursing home in Nags Head, has had a total of five cases associated with the current outbreak. Four of those cases were reported on Sept. 17 and an additional case, tested on Sept. 22, was reported on Sept. 24. If no additional cases occur, Peak Resources in Nags Head will no longer be considered in outbreak status as of Oct. 20, 2020 reports the state. Incorrect case numbers were posted for Nags Head Peak Resources. The state was expected to correct the inaccurate numbers by Oct. 13.

A testing clinic will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, at Cape Hatteras Elementary School located at 47500 Middle Ridge Rd., Buxton.

To schedule an appointment for the Oct. 20 testing event, call 252-475-5008. The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hyde County

As of Oct. 13, 2020, Hyde County reported a total COVID-19 case count of 150. Of this total, four are now active cases, 141 have recovered, and five people have died.

The county is reporting an outbreak in Hyde County Correctional Institute. As of Oct. 13, 466 people were tested at the facility. Of that total, 22 prisoners tested positive with the virus. Currently, 17 of those cases are active.

Tyrrell County

On Oct. 8, the Martin-Tyrrell-Washington District Health reported Tyrrell with 119 lab-confirmed cases with 115 recovered. Three deaths have been recorded in Tyrrell County. The Tyrrell Prison Work Farm is in outbreak status with ten tests administered and 22 recovered.

Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank counties

As of Oct. 12, 2020, Albemarle Regional Health Services has published the following case information:

Camden: 128 lab-confirmed cases with 20 active and 105 recovered. Three deaths have occurred.

Currituck: 207 lab-confirmed cases, an increase of seven. Some 24 cases are active. The county has experienced four deaths. Currituck Health and Rehab reports two staff cases of COVID-19. At Currituck House, 34 total cases are reported, 10 staff and 24 residents and three of the county’s four deaths are attributed to the outbreak at the Currituck House.

Pasquotank: 794 lab-confirmed cases, a case increase of 57. Active cases number 99. Some 662 have recovered, while 33 people have died.

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