By Outer Banks Voice on June 29, 2020
Update: Dare County reported three additional cases of COVID-19 on the evening of June 29. That makes 4 cases today and 18 cases in the past two days. Two of the individuals are male residents of the county who are between 18-24 and are isolating at home. The other is a female non-resident between 25-49 years of age who has been transferred to her home county. The total number of Dare County cases reported is now 97.
There was a noticeably different tone to the newest video about COVID-19 released by Dare County Health and Human Services Director Sheila Davies’ on Monday, June 29. Short and to the point, at only four minutes long, the message seemed to reflect some urgency and frustration on the part of the director as she addressed a recent surge in cases here that has pushed the total number to 94, about half of which have been reported in the past nine days.
Davies pointedly asserted that “the spread of COVID-19 is not a local versus-visitor-issue. The spread we are seeing currently is local-to-local spread because people are not following the guidelines.”
She added that a majority of recent cases have involved local residents and that a good part of that local spread came as a result of direct contact among people at a large gathering who were not maintaining social distancing or wearing face coverings.
While explaining that many of those recently testing positive are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, Davies said that there has been further spread of the virus from the people at that gathering to their household contacts — including to an elderly individual who was hospitalized.
Davies also warned individuals who test positive for the virus that they “must remain in isolation until otherwise directed by Health and Human Services staff,” warning that violating a quarantine is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison.
The idea of citizens needing to better follow public health guidelines was a recurrent theme. Declaring that the county health department and local health providers are working “around the clock seven days a week” in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the director emphasized that, “We cannot fight this virus alone. The public has to act responsibly if we are to control the spread of the virus.”