The checkpoint at the Wright Memorial Bridge was quiet around noon today.

Currituck County’s lifting today of access restrictions placed on non-resident property owners did not affect the flow of eastbound traffic at the Wright Memorial Bridge checkpoint, according to people interviewed by The Beacon who crossed the bridge after 9 a.m. and our own observations.

The Currituck County Commissioners voted Monday to allow non-resident Currituck-Outer Banks property owners to enter the county, starting today at 9 a.m. Currituck also has proposed lifting the access ban on visitors around May 15.

In yesterday’s emergency bulletin, Dare County advised non-resident Currituck County property owners that their “travel in Dare County should be used only as necessary to reach the Currituck Outer Banks or for essential needs such as health care. Plan to travel directly to your destination once passing through the checkpoint at the bridge.”

The Dare County Control Group also reminded the new arrivals that they must respect Dare County’s Stay Home-Stay Healthy order when they are in Dare.

See Bulletin no. 49 at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6176/1483

Peggy Irvin, who works as a caregiver in Southern Shores, said she noticed no uptick in traffic when she arrived in Dare County around 9:45 a.m. She described the traffic flow at the checkpoint as “smooth” and “no different” from any other week day morning when she has passed through during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dorothy Pettaway, another caregiver who lives in Currituck County and works in Dare, agreed. When she arrived in Dare County around 10:30 a.m. she noticed no increase in traffic flow through the checkpoint. “No change,” Ms. Pettaway told The Beacon.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dare County has remained at 15 for the past 12 days, according to today’s Dare County emergency bulletin.

Bulletin no. 50 also announces that the Dare County COVID-19 webpage now has a section for quick reference that provides the most current information on COVID-19 cases in the county. It is available at darenc.com/covid19.

See Bulletin no. 50 at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6182/1483.

Earlier this week, the Dare County Control Group announced a plan for a staggered re-entry of non-resident property owners into the county, starting May 4, as well as an extension of the Stay Home-Stay Healthy order until May 22.

For more details, see The Beacon, 4/21/20.


Governor Roy Cooper will announce key decisions in his plan to “reopen” North Carolina at a 3 p.m. press conference today. The Governor has said that he will address a possible extension of his statewide stay-at-home executive order, which expires April 29, as well as the possible reopening of K-12 public schools.

The press conference will be covered on television, but The Beacon does not know which local network affiliate will carry it. The Raleigh News and Observer reported that the Raleigh affiliate of ABC-TV usually covers the Governor’s press conferences.

The News and Observer is also offering a live stream of the conference on its website, http://www.newsobserver.com.

See today’s News and Observer story about the Governor’s press conference at https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article242226216.html?utm_source=pushly&intcid=%7B__explicit:pushly_514826%7D.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 4/23/20

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