Today’s Dare Emergency Management COVID-19 case dashboard shows an additional positive COVID-19 test result, bringing the total in the county to 19.

This new COVID-19 case, for which no explanation is offered in the Joint Information Center, is the first new case reported in eight days. The previous three positive test results came from one Dare County family after one member was infected by direct contact outside of the area.

These three people have not recovered yet, according to the Dare dashboard.

The Beacon is hearing from readers concerned about the increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus with the arrival of out-of-town visitors. One reader asked how Dare County residents would know if non-resident visitors were to test positive locally for the virus and possibly spark an outbreak.

The answer is we would not know about positive COVID-19 tests locally of non-resident visitors unless, we would speculate, the number reached critical mass and posed a threat to the local health-care delivery system and to the Outer Banks community.

The Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services only reports the positive COVID-19 tests of residents and does not inform the public as to the area of the county in which the residents live, citing patient privacy.

It is extremely important to observe the three W’s cited by Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen for Phase One of 1) wear a cloth face covering; 2) wait six feet apart (avoid close contact with people outside of your household); and 3) wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

The statewide stay-at-home order is still in effect. The restrictions have only been loosened to allow more businesses to operate, with social-distancing and infection-control measures in place, and more outdoor activities to occur. If people neglect or refuse to take the three W’s seriously, we may see an uptick in COVID-19 cases locally. The danger is far from over.

Retired physicist Bob Bateman of Southern Shores is still busily making face shields on his 3-D printer for Outer Banks first responders, according to his wife, Ursula Bateman. Bob has made an estimated 120 face shields so far.


After the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases hit a new single-day record of 639 on Thursday, the case reports for the next two days dropped below 500.

On Friday the NCDHHS dashboard reported an increase of 471 cases, based on 7,285 new completed tests, for a 6.5 percent positive rate; and today, 492 more cases, based on 7,749 tests, were reported, for a 6.3 percent positive rate. Hospitalizations also declined to 515 and 513, on each respective day.

The number of completed COVID-19 tests being done every day is well above the 5,000 to 7,000 tests targeted by Dr. Cohen for adequate surveillance.


The Town’s spring bulk-trash collection has been scheduled for Saturday, May 30. The Town asks that you have your discarded items in the roadside right-of-way for pickup that day by 5 a.m. and that you not place any items in the right-of-way before May 23.

See https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/semi-annual-bulk-waste-collection/ for a list of the materials that can and cannot be disposed of.

While furniture is acceptable, building materials are not.

We often see lumber incorrectly placed in the right-of-way: We see it in the right-of-way before the collection date and we sometimes see it there for months afterward.

No roofing, windows, doors, carpets, toilets, demolition debris, or any waste left by a contractor will be picked up. The Town also will not collect tree stumps, and it will only take yard waste or vegetative debris that is bagged in clear bags or brown paper bags.

COMING TOMORROW: An update on curbside recycling.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 5/9/20

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