The Dare County Control Group met Monday morning, March 23 to receive an update regarding COVID-19 and discuss issues related to the health and safety of our community. Currently, all critical services including law enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and healthcare, including the Outer Banks Hospital are operational and able to meet the needs of our residents. Essential supplies, including food and water, continue to be delivered to local stores. Residents should continue to purchase food, supplies, and medications as they need them but remember if you do go out, stay at least six feet from others at all times.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the nation continues to grow. North Carolina is releasing statewide numbers of the COVID-19 tests being conducted. So far, North Carolina has administered 8,438 tests. This is not an inclusive number of every test that has been conducted in North Carolina, as hospitals and private labs are not required to report the number of tests. They are, however, required to report positive cases. Local public health departments are still being advised to adhere to communicable disease guidelines and only release positive test results.
Medical Providers in Dare County continue to test patients who are symptomatic and meet criteria for testing which includes: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and symptoms of respiratory illness.
There have not been any individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County. When there is a positive test result, this information will be shared as soon as possible.
It is imperative that we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and everyone is asked to refrain from unnecessary travel. The actions you take now to prevent the spread will have a direct impact on our entire community. The only way to protect family, friends and neighbors who are at high risk is to stay home and avoid all nonessential contact with others. Limit trips for groceries, gas, and other essentials. If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet from others at all times. It cannot be stressed enough that staying home and limiting unnecessary travel is the most effective way to control the spread of this virus.
It is understandable that the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger. We have recently released two videos that address physical and mental well being. These videos can be found on Dare County’s YouTube Channel. If you or your child/teen need help with the stress or anxiety you are facing, there are resources in our county to assist. Please call PORT Health at 252.441.2324 or Trillium Health Resources at 877.685.2415.
Residents are encouraged to rely on credible sources for updated information regarding COVID-19. Visit the CDC website www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or NCDHHS at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. For information specific to Dare County, visit www.darenc.com/covid19.
The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and can be reached at 252.475.5008.
For updated information regarding Dare County services, visit www.darenc.com/covidservices.
The Outer Banks Hospital
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in eastern North Carolina, The Outer Banks Hospital is now prohibiting all visitors. To accommodate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, the following areas will allow (after an on-site screening) ONE healthy adult visitor:
- Maternity and Postpartum Unit
- Clinics located inside the hospital
- End of life patients
- Discharge pickup
- Emergency departments – pediatric patients and patients requiring assistance only
- Other situations on a case-by-case basis
- Our Outer Banks Medical Group clinics are allowing one healthy adult visitor per patient.
Beginning Monday, March 23, The Outer Banks Hospital is rescheduling outpatient procedures and visits that can wait a few weeks. Examples include mammogram screenings, bone dexa scans, and some rehabilitative therapy. If you have a scheduled appointment over the next two weeks for one of these appointments that can be delayed, you will receive a call to reschedule your appointment.
The outpatient walk-in lab is open; however, we strongly encourage patients to delay coming in if their test can wait a few weeks. A good example of a lab test that can wait is an annual wellness lab draw.
The Outer Banks Medical Group is gearing up to offer virtual visits (phone or computer) for established patients in order to continue care and limit potential exposure to the virus. If you are an established patient of an Outer Banks Medical Group clinic and you need to be seen, please call the office to see what options are available to you and your unique situation. If you already have an appointment scheduled, our staff will be reaching out to you.
National Park Service
To minimize potential spread of COVID-19, consistent with federal, state, and local advisories, visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore)
- The Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island visitor centers are closed.
- Off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at www.recreation.gov. The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.
- The Oregon Inlet Campground is closed.
- The grounds of the Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras, and Ocracoke Light Stations are open.
- Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (NHS)
- The grounds of Fort Raleigh NHS are open.
- Fort Raleigh NHS visitor center is closed.
Wright Brothers National Memorial (NMEM)
- The grounds of Wright Brothers NMEM are open. The collection of park entrance fees is suspended until further notice.
- Wright Brothers NMEM visitor center and the reconstructed 1903 camp buildings are closed.
For National Park Service COVID-19 updates, visit www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
The next bulletin will be issued no later than 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.