10/16/20: NC HITS ANOTHER COVID-19 RECORD HIGH WITH 2,684 CASES; DARE SCHEDULES DRIVE-THRU TESTING TUESDAY IN BUXTON.

The Governor would like you to take your pick, although No. 12 offers the least protection to others.

North Carolina health departments reported a total of 2,684 new COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours, thereby setting a new single-day record that broke yesterday’s new single-day record by 152 cases.

The shock of yesterday’s 2,532 new COVID-19 cases has already worn off, replaced by the sense that we may only be witnessing the beginning of a steeply upward trend.

For the past 11 days, more than 1,000 people have been hospitalized daily across the state for COVID-19. This is with 96 percent of hospitals reporting, according to the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

N.C. daily hospitalization totals of more than 1,000 were common in July and August, but, since Aug. 26, hospitalizations have been consistently under 1,000—until Oct. 5, which was the Monday after the first weekend of Phase 3 in North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper initiated Phase 3 of North Carolina’s reopening at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2, lifting restrictions—but imposing capacity limits and other safeguards—on movie theaters, indoor conference and entertainment facilities, and indoor and outdoor event venues in which crowds of spectators gather. 

The initiation of Phase 2.5 on Sept. 4 did not correlate with an uptick statewide in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, even though fitness centers, physical activity facilities, and museums were allowed to reopen at limited capacity, and mass gathering capacity limits were increased.

Both the Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen have spoken in their recent coronavirus briefings about people “letting down their guard.”

Will a rollback to Phase 2.5 be necessary to convince North Carolinians to raise their guard again? How about a rollback to Phase 2? Is a rollback even an option, considering what the Governor described yesterday as people’s “weariness and frustration”?

As of today, 3,910 North Carolinians have died because of COVID-19, according to the NCDHHS dashboard.

DARE COUNTY TO HOLD DRIVE-THRU TESTING EVENT

Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15, Dare County averaged a daily total of 2.8 new COVID-19 cases, including both residents and nonresidents. In the past four days, however, the case reports have trended upward, with an average daily total of 5.25 cases.

Since Monday—not including today’s total, which had not been posted as of 3:30 p.m.—15 Dare County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including three who are age 65 or older. No one has been hospitalized.

Dare County and its partner, Mako Medical Laboratories of Raleigh, have scheduled a drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on Hatteras Island next Tuesday, starting at 10:30 a.m., for permanent Dare residents age 5 or older.

The event will be held at the Cape Hatteras Elementary School at 47500 Middle Ridge Road in Buxton.

To be tested, you must register for an appointment by calling (252) 475-5008, between 8:30a.m. and 5 p.m., M-F. You will be required to email a photocopy of a government-issued ID card and an insurance card before the event.

Insured participants will not incur any out-of-pocket cost. All insurance plans fully cover the COVID-19 diagnostic test, including Medicaid and Medicare, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Mako Labs will use the COVID-19 Relief Fund to cover the cost of testing uninsured participants.

The DCDHHS will call you within 72 hours of your test with the results.

This diagnostic testing is only for asymptomatic people. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the DCDHHS advises you to call your physician.

For more information on testing sites in Dare County, please visit darenc.com/covidtesting.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 10/16/20

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