Dare HHS explains guidelines for releasing info on COVID-19 patients

By on April 6, 2020

(Dare County)

This excerpt from a recent Dare County Bulletin explains why the county does not give out as much information on those who test positive for COVID-19 as members of the broader community might like.

On Sunday, the Dare County Division of Public Health announced the sixth positive test result for COVID-19 in Dare County. It is possible that this individual may have acquired the virus from an asymptomatic individual, indicating community spread. The Division of Public Health will continue to report on any positive test results as soon as possible.

There are community members asking for more information on travel patterns of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. By law, patient confidentiality must be protected. In a small community such as Dare County, this means only limited information can be shared. Public health staff contacts individuals or facilities that may have had direct contact (6 feet or less for 10 minutes or greater) with an individual who tests positive as part of each contact tracing investigation.

According to Dr. Sheila Davies, Director of the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services, “The details that some are seeking about individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are neither helpful nor productive. What we all must do to protect ourselves doesn’t change because of a positive test result. To protect yourself, your family and our community, everyone must stay at home other than for essential needs. Now that community spread is likely, it is important to act as if everyone you come in contact with may be COVID-19 positive and has the ability to spread the virus. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is going to be the result of what each of us does, and where each of us goes.”

It is also important to point out that even though Dare County is seeing indications of community spread of COVID-19, state testing guidance from NC DHHS has not changed. Medical providers in Dare County are testing patients who meet testing criteria: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough and difficulty breathing. Individuals should call ahead to their provider or urgent care before going to the medical facility.

Patients who are asymptomatic are not advised to be tested. Patients who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate. The reason it is not advised to test those who do not have symptoms is because of the risk of exposure when going to be tested. For those who are mildly or moderately symptomatic, testing is not advised because of the risk of exposure to others and because there are no medications to cure COVID-19.

 


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Comments

  • Carolyn

    Is it true, that a Dare County resident tested positive but was sent to a hospital outside the county?

    Monday, Apr 6 @ 2:54 pm
  • Gordon

    So, what they are basically saying is we can’t afford enough tests for everybody, that there is people out there spreading it and are probably ignoring any mild symptoms they have, that your life is not worth risking theirs unless you are dying. What they aren’t telling you is the latest case is actually a patient and Peak resources nursing home, I have first-hand information on that, supposedly the person was transferred to the hospital for flu related issues, improved enough to be released back to the nursing home, and a few days later started to run a fever again which is when they did to covid-19 test on them meaning the most likely place the person picked it up from was from hospital staff or transport staff which means they are not testing the staff, they are only monitoring them for fevers and symptoms. You are not safe no matter where you go.

    Monday, Apr 6 @ 5:20 pm
  • Mr. Black

    I have these comments:

    1. Dare County, welcome to the situation across the globe. Community spread is the assumed normal situation everywhere.

    2. Dare County, you are not special. More than half of all counties in the United States of America have no hospital ICU beds. See this website link:
    https://khn.org/news/as-coronavirus-spreads-widely-millions-of-older-americans-live-in-counties-with-no-icu-beds/

    “Overall, 18 million people live in counties that have hospitals but no ICU, about a quarter of them 60 or older, the analysis shows. Nearly 11 million more Americans reside in counties with no hospital, some 2.7 million of them seniors.”

    3. Time to open up the OBX to non-resident property owners, since the virus is now spreading inside the OBX community.

    4. If you want to pretend that you have isolated the island from COVID-19, then you should:

    A. prevent any residents from leaving the island and returning.
    B. Do not allow non-residents who work on the island to commute there to work, even if they are essential employees.
    C. Do no allow delivery drivers to exit their vehicles.

    5. Dare County, please refund me a pro-rated portion of my property taxes. Since I am a non-resident property owner, I am being taxed, but denied access to my property and I am unable to utilize the services that I am paying taxes for. When can I expect reimbursement?

    Tuesday, Apr 7 @ 8:11 am
  • sandflea

    Mr Black.
    1. You have a home; stay in it.
    2. Your house is not sick
    3. Your house doesn’t need any emergency repairs for the renters that won’t be here.
    4. Rules are for everyone; including you. That seems to be a new one for you; actually having to follow rules.
    5. Your permanent residence is not here; don’t tell us what to or what we “should” do.
    6. As far as “reimbursement; I hope you get nothing and like it.

    Wednesday, Apr 8 @ 8:55 am
  • Mb

    Sand flea
    Mr Black does not need a reason to use a house that he owns and pays taxes on. Has it occurred to you that under the constitution
    He has a right to use it.
    These so called rules were made by small minded people like yourself.

    Thursday, Apr 9 @ 10:46 pm