Both Dare County and North Carolina hit new single-day record highs today in diagnosed COVID-19 cases, with Dare reporting that 16 people tested positive locally for the disease caused by the new coronavirus and the State reporting that 1,843 people did.
Of the 16 new COVID-19 cases reported locally, 12 are non-residents, and 11 are males, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services dashboard. All but three are under the age of 50, with 12 of them being age 24 or younger, and one just 17 years old.
One of the Dare County residents has been hospitalized, the dashboard shows, while the remaining three are in home isolation.
The total number of cases diagnosed in Dare County is now 113. The number of confirmed cases statewide has risen to 66,513, of whom 901 are hospitalized.
During a press briefing held in Raleigh this afternoon, Dr. Mandy Cohen confirmed that adults ages 18 to 49 “are driving the case increase” statewide and that North Carolina is experiencing “wider community spread” of COVID-19.
DCDHHS Director Dr. Sheila Davies has announced the same trends in Dare County.
Dr. Cohen, who is Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, further elaborated that COVID-19 infections in North Carolina are being “driven by exposure locally,” not by travel. She singled out workplaces and large gatherings as the hot spots for transmission.
With the Fourth of July holiday weekend coming up, both Dr. Cohen and Governor Roy Cooper urged people to protect themselves and others by wearing face coverings, social distancing, and washing their hands often—especially if they are going to be in a group setting.
“Mass” gatherings are still prohibited in North Carolina during the current “pause” or extension of Phase Two, which is scheduled to last until at least July 17.
Any event that brings together more than 10 people indoors or more than 25 people outdoors at the same time in a confined space is prohibited. According to the Governor’s Phase Two Executive Order 141, this includes “parades, fairs, and festivals.”
Also today, Governor Cooper postponed for two weeks an announcement of when, and how, the N.C. public schools will reopen for the next school year.
He expressed a strong preference for “getting kids back in the classroom for in-person instruction,” but acknowledged during reporters’ questions that many educators are concerned about their own safety.
AGE BREAKDOWN OF TODAY’S 16 CASES
The age breakdown of the 16 COVID-19 cases reported by the DCDHHS dashboard is as follows:
*One is 17 years old;
*Eleven are between the ages of 18 to 24;
*One is between ages 25 to 49;
*Three are between ages 50 to 64.
People under age 50 now account for 69 percent of the local COVID-19 cases. Only nine percent of the people who have tested positive are age 65 or older.
Eight of the 12 new non-resident cases are isolating in Dare County, and the remaining four have transferred to isolation in their home counties.
The dashboard also reports that four non-residents who had been isolating out of the area have recovered or been symptomatically cleared.
NEXT TESTING EVENT IS JULY 9 IN BUXTON
Dare County will partner with Mako Medical Laboratories of Raleigh to hold its next diagnostic and antibody COVID-19 testing event July 9, starting at 10 a.m., at the Fessenden Center in Buxton.
Only asymptomatic permanent residents of Dare County who are age 10 or older and have an appointment will be tested.
You may register for either a diagnostic test, which can be done on a drive-through basis, or an antibody test, which requires a blood sample to be drawn inside the center, or both. Call (252) 475-5008, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., to book your appointment.
The Fessenden Center is located at 46830 on N.C. Hwy. 12. For more details, see https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6410/1483.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 7/1/20