9/29/20: DARE COUNTY REPORTS HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY NEW COVID-19 CASE TOTAL IN MORE THAN A MONTH; Cohen Permits Indoor Visits at Long-Term Care Facilities; Governor to Address Possible Easing of Phase 2.5 Restrictions This Week.

Dare County reported eight new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the highest single-day total since Aug. 25, when it reported 12. Five of the eight new cases are Dare County residents, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services (DCDHHS) dashboard.

Yesterday’s DCDHHS dashboard also recorded that one of the two Dare County residents who had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 has been upgraded to home isolation. Sixteen locals reportedly have active COVID-19 cases.

On the state level, Phase 2.5 of North Carolina’s reopening will expire at 5 p.m. Friday. Governor Roy Cooper has said that he will announce this week, most likely tomorrow, whether the State will continue relaxing COVID-19-related restrictions.

Last week the Governor announced that, effective Friday, large outdoor venues with a seating capacity of more than 10,000 people, including football stadiums, will be permitted to accommodate 7 percent capacity. (See The Beacon, 9/22/20.)

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, also announced yesterday that, effective immediately, indoor visitations at long-term care facilities will be permitted, provided the facility has not had a COVID-19 outbreak in at least 14 days and it is located in a county with a positive COVID-19 test rate below 10 percent, which Dare County’s is.

Visitors must be screened for coronavirus symptoms and wear a face covering, according to Dr. Cohen’s requirements. They also must use hand sanitizer before and after each visit.

(Because of its recent COVID-19 outbreak, Peak Resources in Nags Head does not qualify currently for indoor visitations.)

See the Secretary’s order here: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/Secretarial-Order-6.pdf

For a press release on the order, see: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/ncdhhs-updates-nursing-home-visitation-order-state-has-stabilizing-metrics

Dr. Sheila Davies, director of the DCDHHS, is expected to give an update later today about the 12 new COVID-19 cases that have been reported locally since last Friday.

Yesterday’s five new Dare County cases are three residents between the ages of 25 and 49 (two women, one man); one woman between the ages of 18 and 24, whose case was belatedly reported by the State; and one man between ages 50 and 64.

The three nonresidents are two women between the ages of 50 and 64 and a boy age 17 or younger.

On Saturday, the DCDHHS dashboard reported one Dare County woman, between ages 25 and 49, and three female nonresidents, two of them between ages 25-49 and one age 17 or younger, as having tested positive locally for COVID-19.

Eleven of the 12 reported new cases are in home isolation. The Dare County woman whose positive test result was reported by the State has already recovered. 

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 9/29/20

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