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The three Dare County residents who tested positive over the weekend for COVID-19 acquired the virus by direct contact, according to a Dare Emergency Management bulletin released today. (See The Beacon, 5/10/20.)

Their test results brought the total number of positive test results in the county to 21. There had been no new cases in Dare County for eight days before the weekend.

People who came in contact with these three individuals have been notified, according to COVID-19 Bulletin No. 59.

See https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6242/1483

The last six COVID-19 cases reported by Dare County are active, the bulletin said. Of these six, one person is hospitalized and the other five are recovering in home isolation.

“Active,” according to the bulletin, “means an individual currently has the COVID-19 virus and is being monitored daily by the health department.”

No other details were released about the three people who were infected. With whom did they come in contact? Where? There is no indication. The previous three people, cases 16-18, were reported to be in the same family and in home isolation.

Bulletin No. 59 also emphasizes face coverings as a “crucial part of the first line of defense against COVID-19.”

While Governor Roy Cooper has not required people to wear face coverings during Phase One, businesses may require them for their personnel and customers, the bulletin says. Dare Emergency Management is strongly encouraging local businesses to do so and to enforce a requirement on site.

STATEWIDE, North Carolina recorded only 281 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours since 11 a.m. yesterday, but the decline appears to be attributable to a decline in the number of tests completed. Only 3,730 tests were done in the same 24-hour period, which is far fewer than the 5,000 to 7,000 tests that the State would like to perform.

The all-important percent of positive tests results among the total completed tests increased to 7.5 percent today, up from 6.9 percent on Sunday and 6.5 percent on Saturday. This is not what public-health officials want to see.

North Carolina is 43rd in the nation in tests administered per 1,000 residents through May 7, with only 15.7 people per 1,000 being tested, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The State was the 15th overall, among 55 states and U.S. territories, in the total number of tests completed, through May 7, the report said.

The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed data from the COVID Tracking Project, according to an article in The Raleigh News & Observer.

See article at https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article242594906.html.

North Carolina will have to ramp up its testing considerably if it is to achieve the data it needs to progress through the three-phase reopening plan outlined by the Governor.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 5/11/20

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