By Outer Banks Voice on July 25, 2021
In a July 23 update, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS) expressed concern about a “rapid increase in COVID-19 spread among those who are unvaccinated.” The spread has been driven by the increasing prevalence of the more transmissible and what the NCDHSS calls “potentially more dangerous” Delta variant of the virus.
This surge also comes as local school districts tackle procedures for re-opening public schools next month. Last week, Governor Roy Cooper unveiled new guidelines that strongly encourage public schools to continue requiring students, staff and guests in grades K-8 to wear masks, while directing districts to ensure that all unvaccinated individuals in high schools continue to wear a face covering indoors. The Dare County Board of Education will meet on July 29 to discuss school re-opening procedures.
On July 23, the state reported 1,998 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day total since the end of April. In addition, the 9,053 cases reported in North Carolina over the past seven days is 66% higher than the 5,441 cases reported in the preceding seven days.
Of the 817 people now hospitalized with the virus in North Carolina, 132 of them were admitted in the previous 24 hours alone. Since July 9, only two weeks earlier, the number of COVID hospitalizations has doubled.
The update also said that “other key metrics are also increasing, including the number of people going to the emergency department with COVID-like symptoms and the percent of tests that are positive — which has been over 6% for the past week.”
Noting that 57% of North Carolina adults have been fully vaccinated, the NCDHHS reported that more than 94% of recent North Carolina cases have occurred in people who were not fully vaccinated.
“Unvaccinated North Carolinians are unnecessarily getting sick, being hospitalized and dying,” NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen stated. “Don’t wait to vaccinate. And if you haven’t gotten your shot, you need to wear a mask indoors at all times when you are in public spaces.”
Dare County DHHS is offering two upcoming COVID vaccine clinics for anyone 12 and over. The dates are Thursday, July 29 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Buxton and Friday, July 30 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. in Nags Head. To register for a vaccine appointment please visit our website at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine to complete the vaccination request form. Staff will then call you to schedule an appointment.
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