Since Tuesday, when the DCDHHS last posted a case update, nine people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dare County, four residents and five nonresidents.

Unfortunately, two of the nonresidents are women age 65 or older who have been hospitalized outside of the area. A third is a woman age 65 or older who is isolating in Dare County.

The other two nonresidents are between the ages of 50 and 64. They have transferred to isolation in their home counties.

The four Dare County residents are all between the ages of 25 and 49 and are in home isolation.

Yesterday the DCDHHS dashboard reported that a resident who previously had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and had been isolating at home had to be hospitalized. Dr. Sheila Davies, director of the DCDHHS, reported today that the person is in a hospital outside of Dare County.

According to Dr. Davies, all four of the newly diagnosed residents acquired the virus by unclear means, indicating community spread. Three of the five nonresidents acquired the virus by unclear means, she said, and the other two had direct contact with an infected person outside of Dare County.

This is the first time that The Beacon can recall that nearly 80 percent of the new COVID-19 cases have been presumably acquired by community spread. Usually, the direct contact-versus-community spread ratio with new cases is about one-to-one, with half being attributed to each source.


Dare County is partnering again with Mako Medical Laboratories of Raleigh to hold a diagnostic and antibody COVID-19 testing event next Tuesday, starting at 1 p.m., at the Dare County Parks and Recreation facility, 602 Mustian St., in Kill Devil Hills.

You must register for an appointment to take either or both tests. Call 252-575-5008, Monday through Friday, from 8:30a.m. to 5 p.m., for scheduling. Participants are required to send in a photocopy of their government-issued identification card and any insurance card that they have before the event. (Email covid19@darenc.com.)

The specimen for the COVID-19 diagnostic test is obtained on a drive-through basis:  You remain in your vehicle while a health worker does a nasal swab. The antibody test requires you to go into the Parks and Recreation facility to have a blood sample drawn.

Although this event is not free, people with insurance will not incur any out-of-pocket cost for either COVID-19 test. Mako Medical Labs will use the COVID-19 Relief Fund to pay for diagnostic testing of uninsured persons and will work with them on the costs of the antibody testing. If you are uninsured, you may find out more about uncovered costs when you call the call center to make an appointment.

The test results from the event will be sent by Mako within 72 hours to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services, which will notify all participants.

This testing is only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, and/or a loss of taste or smell, you should contact your healthcare provider.

See notice at https://www.darenc.com/Home/Components/News/News/6543/1483

LINK TO GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER 155, which extends Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening for five weeks, until 5 p.m. on Sept. 11: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO155-Extension-of-Phase-2.pdf.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 8/7/20

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