Davies warns of potential ‘rampant spread’ of COVID

By on July 2, 2020

27 recent Dare cases stemmed from one large party

(Dare County)

In recent days, the language and tone of Dare County Health and Human Services Director Sheila Davies have gotten more urgent as local cases have surged dramatically. This following is the message she released on the cusp of the July 4 holiday, one which not only counseled against “irresponsible behavior,” but called out  the “lack of cooperation” her team must deal with when trying to reach people for contact tracing.


As we head into the holiday weekend, I am very concerned about the potential for rampant spread of COVID-19 based on reckless and irresponsible behavior. The majority of our positive cases over the past 10 days have been the result of local spread. 27 cases are directly linked to spread that originated from individuals attending a large party, acquiring the virus and then spreading the virus to other friends and family members, one of whom is now hospitalized out of the area.

This virus remains highly contagious and very unpredictable. The hospital and urgent care centers are reporting that they are seeing a number of individuals who were originally asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic when they first tested now seeking medical care for worsening symptoms.

I remain very concerned that people may attend large gatherings over the holiday weekend and drop their guard for social distancing, wearing masks and using hand hygiene. Given the presence of the virus throughout our community this could lead to significant spread in the weeks ahead. I cannot stress enough how critically important it is to follow the guidance and NC Executive Orders. Do not host or attend indoor gatherings with more than 10 people or outdoor gatherings with more than 25 people. Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from individuals who you do not share a household with, wear a face covering if you cannot socially distance, and wash your hands frequently. THESE ARE ALL REALLY SIMPLE – PEOPLE JUST NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND DO THEM!

This week we have experienced some disturbing and irresponsible behavior from individuals who are being called by our team members regarding isolation and quarantine. We are required to contact individuals who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or determined to be a direct contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case. This week our callers have been hung up on and spoken to inappropriately when they have called. Additionally, people have refused to cooperate, refused to provide critical information for contact tracing and indicated they will not comply with quarantine and isolation orders.

As a result of this lack of cooperation, I have had no other alternative than to issue isolation and quarantine orders to a number of individuals. A quarantine order is issued to someone who has been identified as a direct contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case and requires the individual to stay at home for a minimum of 14 days. An isolation order is issued to an individual who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and that individual must stay in isolation until otherwise directed by the health department based on the presence of symptoms or time in isolation.

If you receive a call from our department, please be honest and cooperative. We are not making these calls because we think it is fun or because we have nothing better to do. We are making these calls because they are critical pieces of trying to control the spread of the virus. Our contact tracing and quarantine and isolation monitoring efforts can only be as good as the information we are provided. Likewise, the rate of COVID-19 infection in our community will be directly linked to how responsibly people act.

I know the July 4th holiday celebrations will look different this year, but if we all act responsibly, we can at least help protect our community from the further spread of COVID-19.





  • You were young once..

    All opinions are definitely valid…however the bigger problem here is that MOST houses act as a hotel that hosts a week long “party,” week after week.
    So during BEACH WEEK for seniors is anyone really shocked that this MIGHT happen. People , please remember why you love this place…all the hatred and judging is unfair, and unnecessary.
    COVID-19 is here, all avenues of the world are affected. Just be safe and protect yourself as you see fit.
    Due diligence is of utmost importance in your own health.
    Perhaps the younger fragment of population can help us get a vaccine….who knows.
    Stay healthy and positive. We live in a beautiful place!

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 10:16 am
  • voidless1

    Lots of states now require quarintine when you leave OBX once your compulsory vacation is over. Good news , no need to worry about entry to OBX as locals and goverment have concluded that we need the money. This minor flu bug is in just under 200 countrys ,no need to count the death toll yet as thats a dynamic number. Not “Chicken little” as I personally have not paused my work to date , however @ some point you should question what a smart desisions looks like. Alot of the Northen States have sounded off w/ their Quarintine decisions/mandate,Right?

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 2:39 pm
  • Rage against the machine

    Look at the stats! Non residents 55, locals 75. I’m guessing non of the locals are Owners like you? Probably workers? Maybe? Yeah I think so guy! The ones put in a position to be servitude to afford to live here, so you can make your money. I don’t make my money here guy and don’t need tourist to afford to live here. It’s people like you that will turn this place into Ocean City, Myrtle Beach, or VA Beach filled with Herion and Meth Hotels, crime that’s uncontrollable and a trashed natural resource because of your greedy exploitation of it. That’s facts!

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 6:08 pm
  • NRPO

    I was there over Memorial Day and again this week. The first guy I saw not wearing a mask was the cop checking reentry permits in May who literally spat when he screamed in my car to see my permit (which could have been a potato salad recipe for all he cared). Next, I see and hear resident neighbors bragging about not wearing masks, trying to convince others not to wear masks, etc. Telling me this was a “cold”. Little social distancing and PPE. Most of these full time residents are transplants themselves. They moved to a 100% tourist funded economy and do nothing but bitch about tourists and nonresident property owners. I personally didn’t think tourists should be let back in until this virus issue was resolved -but let’s face it- the entire economy depends on it. People on these comments boards should understand how horrible their attitudes come off to others- others whom they depend upon. Let’s face it, the Outer Banks have been tourist dependent since I first came in the 1960s. If you are a native, your parents and grandparents earned their living from the tourist industry and if you relocated there -then unless you are a moron -you knew where you were moving. Save the sanctimonious BS. The outbreak in this article was caused by stupid local kids trying to have a normal moment. It was dumb and they are local so keep the comments about tourists out of it. Many Hatteras businesses already crushed by closing in the spring had to close again in the height of the season because of this. These comments about tourists aren’t relevant to this story about a local house party. I have never seen a place filled with so much hatred for the hands that feed them.

    Sunday, Jul 5 @ 10:46 am
  • sandflea

    NRPO. Your last sentence needs to be fixed. Here, I’ll do it for you.

    “I have never seen such a place filled with contempt for the residents that allow them in.”
    “I have never seen so many self entitled non-residents filled with so much hatred towards the locals that work hard to make sure that their unreasonable demands are met”

    Monday, Jul 6 @ 9:45 am