By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on July 30, 2021
The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in a July 30 update, is reporting 103 new cases of COVID-19 in the five-day period between July 26-30 — an average of about 20 new cases a day. In this latest report, 37 of the 103 cases are reported involving non-residents while 66 cases involve residents. Two hospitalizations were also reported.
The July 30 numbers compare with 83 cases reported for the full seven-day period from July 19-25. A little over a month ago, there were only 7 cases in a week.
Also on July 30, the DHHS reported that 39 residents of Dare County who had been categorized with active cases have now recovered.
With the rapid increase in cases, the DHHS — which was producing a COVID-19 update once a week every Tuesday — now moves to a twice weekly reporting schedule with updates on Tuesdays and Fridays.
While Currituck County is not yet experiencing the level of COVID surge that Dare County has recently seen, new numbers reported on July 30 show that the pace of infection in that county is also increasing significantly.
The new data, provided by Albemarle Regional Health Services, (ARHS), reported 30 new cases for Currituck County in the past week compared to 12 new cases the previous week and 11 the week before that. In total, there have been 1,638 cases reported in the county since the outset of the pandemic.
In another sign of the increase in transmission, as of July 9, there were only 5 active cases of COVID-19 in Currituck County. Three weeks later, there are now 40 active cases.
In the release issued on July 30, ARHS Health Director R. Battle Betts Jr, stated: “With another week of increased COVID-19 cases in the region, we urge our community members who have not gotten their vaccine to please schedule your appointment…The vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe illness and death; vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic.”
Vidant Health announced on July 30 that it will require the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment for all team members, physicians, credentialed providers and contract workers.
In its statement, Vidant said, “This decision is grounded in science, backed by industry leaders such as the American Hospital Association, American Nurses Association and the North Carolina Healthcare Association, and is the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our patients, team members and communities.”
The deadline for leaders (managers and above), physicians and credentialed providers to be fully vaccinated is Oct. 1. The deadline for team members, new hires and contract workers to be fully vaccinated is Dec. 1. Those not vaccinated must have a proven religious or medical exemption.
The Vidant announcement comes one day after Governor Roy Cooper announced that state government would begin verifying the vaccination status of its workers, with non-vaccinated employees required to wear a mask and be tested at least once a week. He also encouraged private sector businesses to, at a minimum, verify the vaccination status of their workers.