By Outer Banks Voice on December 4, 2021
More than 50 members of the Dare League of Women Voters (LWV) gathered for a holiday luncheon and auction on Dec. 3 at the Duck Woods Country Club to honor special guest, Dr. Sheila Davies, who received an Award of Excellence.
Davies has been the Director of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the public health director for Dare County since 2014, and the award recognized her efforts to keep Dare County residents safe and healthy during the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
At the meeting, League Chair of Voter Services Lorelei Dibernardo read off an exhaustive list of accomplishments that included the training of 50 staff members in contact tracing that resulted in 30,100 phone calls to direct contacts of positive cases. Davies hosted 24 webinars for healthcare worker education; hosted seven mass testing events; produced 101 videos focused on COVID updates for the public along with the online COVID dashboard; and opened 51 mass vaccination clinics to immunize Dare citizens.
As a result of these efforts, Dare County ranked #2 in North Carolina for the percentage of citizens vaccinated (73% have received at least one dose; 69% fully vaccinated). Davies did this while maintaining regular DHHS programs and services throughout the pandemic: health and outreach, veteran’s services, WIC and child protective services, to name a few.
Davies recounted that the first case of COVID-19 arrived in Dare County on March 1, 2020. Since that first case, she “prepared for duration and intensity.” She credited and praised all departments and her team with the success of their efforts through consistent messaging across health services, police, and EMS in coordination with mayors, hospitals and schools.
“I think we will see brighter days ahead,” she said in her Dec. 3 remarks. We now have masks, vaccines, and new drugs on the horizon, but it was the turnout for the vaccines that helped us get to where we are. We are at the point where we are mostly monitoring the number of hospitalized and the levels of sickness rather than the number of people dying. When fully vaccinated, the level of illness is greatly diminished.”
The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to both men and women, and students are encouraged to join. For further information, visit our website www.lwvdarenc.