Dare County has reported its 60th case of COVID-19—another male non-resident between the ages of 18 and 24—and provided an update explaining that the health department is “seeing a number of vacationers go to the area urgent care centers for COVID-19 testing,” where they are being diagnosed.
Of the 60 cases, 29 are Dare County residents, and 31 are non-residents.
According to a DCDHHS bulletin posted at 1 p.m. today, the vacationers being tested in urgent care either “are symptomatic or they have been contacted by someone from back home who informed them they were a direct contact to a positive case.”
As soon as they are tested, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services, they immediately are classified as a “PUI,” or a “person under investigation” and are ordered to quarantine for up to 14 days.
If their test result comes back positive, DCDHHS notifies them and informs them “of the specific duration of their isolation period,” the bulletin states.
The county “cannot force them to leave Dare County,” the DCDHHS continues. “Some choose to leave and some choose to stay.” It further elaborates:
“We call them every day while they remain in Dare County to check in on them and when they go home, we transfer their case to their home health department to finish out their isolation monitoring.
“The day we call them to give them their positive result we also immediately start work on contact tracing which includes everyone in their house at the present time as well as any other contacts they may have had while in Dare County prior to testing or onset of symptoms. All direct contacts are notified they are to quarantine for 14 days and encouraged to get testing—right away if they have symptoms, or if they are asymptomatic they are asked to wait six days from their day of exposure to be sure they don’t get a false negative.
“Being in the same grocery store or at the same gas station as an individual who tests positive does not make you a direct contact. Being six feet or closer for 10 minutes or greater to an individual who tests positive makes you a direct contact.”
LATEST 16 CASES
Since last Friday’s COVID-19 update by DCDHHS, 16 new positive cases have been diagnosed: two of them are residents, and 14 are non-residents. (The Beacon miscounted earlier, when 15 had been diagnosed, and corrected our count.)
The two residents, according to the update, are not connected. They are believed to have acquired the virus through community spread and are symptomatic and recovering in home isolation.
The DCDHHS describes the 14 non-residents as follows:
*Five are household contacts, of whom two are symptomatic, and three are asymptomatic. They acquired the virus by direct contact with another non-resident household member whose case was reported by the DCDHHS on June 18.
*Two are siblings, both of whom are symptomatic and acquired the virus by a direct contact with a positive case outside of Dare County.
*Three others are symptomatic and acquired the virus through direct contact with people who tested positive outside of Dare County. None of these cases is connected.
*All 10 of the above people have been transferred to their home counties and are in isolation there.
*The remaining four people share a household. Two of them are symptomatic, and two are asymptomatic. DCDHHS believes one of the individuals in the household acquired the virus through community spread or travel and transmitted it to the other three household members. All four are in home isolation in Dare County.
The non-resident cases reported recently suggested to The Beacon parent-child and sibling relationships. This bulletin seems implicitly to confirm that.
The latest case, No. 60, has been transferred to isolation in his home county, according to today’s dashboard, making him one of the 10 described above.
JUNE 30 TESTING APPOINTMENTS, NEXT ANTIBODY TESTING CLINIC
There are no appointments remaining for COVID-19 antibody testing on June 30 at the Dare County Parks & Recreation facility, 602 Mustian St., in Kill Devil Hills. All 357 available appointments have been booked.
Appointments remain for the COVID-19 drive-thru diagnostic testing on the same day, at the same time, and also starting at 10 a.m. To schedule an appointment, you may call (252) 475-5008 on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information about testing, please check out www.darenc.com/covidtesting.
The DCDHHS will announce details about a second COVID-19 antibody testing clinic by July 1.
(PLEASE NOTE: This is The Beacon’s last post today about COVID-19 unless DCDHHS reports more positive test results, in which case we will report on them late tonight. Thank you.)
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 6/23/20