8/4/20: UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO HATTERAS ISLAND STARTS AT 2 p.m. TODAY. Business as Usual on OBX. (Plus, a COVID-19 Update; More Than 2,000 People Have Died Statewide.)

The soundside flooding was minimal along this stretch of North Dogwood Trail in Southern Shores.

Although it cites sand and water remaining on some Hatteras Island roadways in low-lying areas, Dare County Emergency Management has ordered that access to the island become unrestricted for all residents and visitors starting at 2 p.m. today.

See DCEM Isaias Bulletin #7: https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6526/398

The bulletin reports that “initial damage assessments have been completed” for Hatteras Island, and only limited storm “impacts” have been observed.

A prohibition on ocean swimming off of Hatteras Island remains in effect, however.

DCEM has not posted a follow-up bulletin to its 10 a.m. Isaias Bulletin #6 in which it said that initial damage assessment was under way for all of Dare County, and reports thus far had indicated that only minimal damage occurred overnight.

As far as we can tell, it is business as usual on the Outer Banks, with retail stores and other commercial enterprises open and operating.

In Southern Shores, we have observed branches and other tree debris in yards and roadways, as well as minor soundside flooding. We have not seen, nor received any reports of, fallen trees.

For reports from Dare County and the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Manteo, see Bulletin #6 at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6526/398.

As previously reported, the only announcements made by the Town of Southern Shores concern the postponement of curbside recycling pickup from tomorrow to Thursday and cancellation of today’s Town Council regular meeting.

The Town Council will meet for an emergency meeting today at 4 p.m. with the intent of postponing consideration of most of its regular meeting business agenda until its Aug. 18 morning workshop meeting.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Since last Friday, 11 people have been diagnosed in Dare County with COVID-19: five residents and six non-residents. All are in isolation in their home counties, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services’ dashboard.

Nine of the cases, including all of the Dare County residents, were reported on Saturday. Four of the nine are between the ages of 18 and 24; three are between the ages of 25 and 49; and the remaining two are age 65 or older.

One non-resident case was reported on both Sunday and Monday, each a person between the ages of 25 and 49.

Dr. Sheila Davies, director of the DCDHHS, is expected to give an update later today about the 11 new cases.

[UPDATE AFTER POSTING: It never fails. No matter how many times we check the DCDHHS dashboard before posting a blog about COVID-19, an update inevitably occurs just after we have posted. The dashboard now reports two new COVID-19 cases today, one a male Dare County resident age 65 or older and the other a female nonresident between the ages of 50 and 64. Both are in home isolation. Dr. Davies has at least 13 new cases to brief later today.]

Statewide, the single-day case reports and hospitalizations had been declining since last Thursday, with positivity rates in the range of 5 percent to 6 percent—until today’s metrics were posted on the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ dashboard.

Today’s metrics show a marked increase in the number of single-day cases reported and a positivity rate of 9.8 percent.

As of yesterday, 1,057 people were hospitalized in North Carolina because of COVID-19; today, 1,166 people are–an increase of 10 percent.

Sadly, more than 2,000 people have now died in North Carolina because of COVID-19. The death total is 2,010, according to today’s NCDHHS dashboard.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 151, which extended the “Safer-at-Home” Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening for three weeks, expires Friday at 5 p.m.

Governor Cooper will give a briefing at 3 p.m. today about Tropical Storm Isaias.

We expect the Governor to address COVID-19 and the expiration of his latest executive order tomorrow afternoon, although his Office has yet to give notice of a scheduled briefing.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 8/4/20



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