Dare County reported today a shocking, but sadly predictable, post-Halloween spike of 24 new COVID-19 cases, 14 of whom are in the 25-49 age group that has led the nation in case numbers since the pandemic began.

Needless to say, today’s case total set a new record high for single-day case reports in Dare County.

The previous single-day high was 16 cases, set on July 27

One non-resident man, age 65-or-older, was hospitalized, according to the Dare County Dept. of Health and Human Services dashboard, while the other 23 people were ordered to isolate at home.

The 24 cases are evenly split between Dare County residents and nonresidents, 12 to 12. Thirteen are male, and 11 are female.

Of the 12 local residents, eight, or two-thirds, are between the ages of 25 and 49. The remaining four take up the other age categories, with one person being age 17 or younger; ages 18 to 24; 50 to 64; and 65-or-older.

Of the 12 nonresidents, six, or half, are between the ages of 25 and 49; two are age 17 or younger; one is between the ages of 50 and 65; and a shocking three of them, including the hospitalized person, are in the higher risk age 65-or-older group.

Since Friday, 41 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, of whom 25 are local residents. Over the past two weeks, Dare has reported 101 new cases.

In her update today, Dr. Sheila Davies, director of the DCDHHS, said that the rise in cases is “not linked to testing.” It can be attributed, she said, “to more and more people gathering together and a lack of adherence to physical distancing and wearing masks.”

Positive cases associated with direct contacts over the past two weeks, she said, have been linked to “weddings, funerals, travel, co-workers, and gatherings of family members and friends.”

She also reported that about 40 percent of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks did not know how they acquired the disease, a possible indication of community spread.

We remind people that the DCDHHS will be co-sponsoring a drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on Thursday in Nags Head. For more details, see The Beacon, 10/23/20.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 11/3/20

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