6/6/20: COVID-19 IN DARE: AND THEN THERE WERE 26 CASES. June 16 Workshop Meeting Open to Public, With 6-foot Distancing in Effect.

Coronavirus-CDC-678x381 

A Dare County woman between the ages of 25 and 49 has tested positive for COVID-19 and is the 26th case reported locally, according to today’s Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services’ dashboard update.

The young woman is classified in the dashboard as having an “active” case and is reported to be in home isolation. She is the second female Dare County resident between the ages of 25 and 49 to test positive for COVID-19 in the past two days. The other, Case No. 25, is also in home isolation.

Dr. Sheila Davies, the director of DCDHHS, gives a videotaped message update on COVID-19 in Dare County each week. We expect Dr. Davies to comment on Case No. 26 next Tuesday.

Although The Beacon has not been reporting daily the number of statewide laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, completed tests, hospitalizations, and deaths recorded on the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ dashboard, we have been monitoring these statistics.

In general, the number of confirmed cases has increased substantially, with an increase in the number of tests being performed. In the past three days, for example, more than 1,100 cases have been reported statewide: 1,189 on Thursday; 1,289 on Friday; and 1,370 today. The positive-test result rate for the respective days was 6.2 percent; 9.3 percent; and 9.0 percent.

The State recorded its highest positive-test rate in months on June 1 when 12 percent of the completed tests were confirmed to be COVID-19-positive.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients have steadily increased in recent weeks and are today at a high of 708, according to the NCDHHS dashboard.

More than 992 people have died in North Carolina of the novel coronavirus’s severe respiratory disease. That’s more than double the number of people who had died just a month ago.

Phase Two of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening expires at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 26.

OPEN MEETING; BEACH NOURISHMENT HEARING JUNE 16: Please note that the Southern Shores Town Council is opening its 9 a.m. June 16 workshop meeting, during which a public hearing on beach nourishment will be held, to the general public, after months of exclusion because of the Governor’s restrictions on mass gatherings.

The Town announced in its newsletter yesterday that the seating in the Pitts Center will be arranged at the workshop meeting to accommodate six-foot distancing between attendees and that public seating will be limited.

When the number of staff and Council members at the June 1 meeting clearly exceeded 10 people, Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett announced at the meeting that the Governor’s Executive Order 141, which took effect May 20, excludes municipal governments from a mass-gathering limit.

The Beacon would have preferred that the Town had implemented social-distancing accommodations for members of the public at its June 1 meeting, when the Council considered the no-left-turn initiative. There are no adequate substitutes for an in-person audience and speakers.

We also weary of the poor sound quality of the Zoom videoconferences. Neither Police Chief David Kole nor Fire Chief Ed Limbacher–or whoever substituted for him on June 1; the Mayor did not introduce the speaker–has been visible or clearly audible during the Zoom meetings. They have been consistently off-camera and out of the effective reach of microphones.

ANN G. SJOERDSMA, 6/6/20

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