Dare reports 219 COVID infections in one day 

By on January 7, 2022

But hospitalizations drop and no new deaths

In terms of infections, the Omicron-driven COVID surge is in uncharted territory here. In the past four days, the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has reported 576 new infections. That already eclipses the record-high 513 cases reported in the full week from Dec. 27-Jan. 2. And the 513 cases shattered the previous weekly record by several hundred cases.

Strikingly, the latest tally reported by the DHHS on Jan. 7 is 219 cases in a single day.

Despite the wildfire spread of the infection, there is encouraging news as well.  As of Jan. 7, the DHHS is reporting only 13 COVID hospitalizations among Dare County residents, which is down from the 16 reported hospitalizations just a few days ago. (This is different from the state level, where the number of cases and hospitalizations have risen dramatically.) In addition, there have been no new COVID deaths reported among Dare Count residents in a month.

The breakdown of new cases by vaccination status also offers more evidence about how the Omicron variant works. Of the 576 cases reported so far this week, 61% have occurred among unvaccinated residents and 39% have occurred among vaccinated residents — with the definition of vaccinated meaning those who have received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the J&J vaccine. Those numbers indicate that the dominant Omicron variant is decidedly more able to infect the vaccinated than previous strains.

But when it comes to those who have received the additional COVID booster shot, the story is quite different. Of the 576 cases so far this week, only 8.5% have occurred among those who have received a COVID booster shot. That indicates, as public health officials are saying, that there is a significant increase in COVID protection from those boosters.

To that end, the CDC has just lowered the wait time for those eligible to receive booster shots from six months to five months after receiving the second dose of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Those who received the one-dose J&J vaccine can get a booster two months after that shot.

In addition, the CDC also says that after their initial dose, those aged 12 and older should receive a booster. And it recommends a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for those children ages 5 to 11 who have compromised immune systems.

COVID causes weekend Hatteras ferry changes

A Jan. 7 release from NCDOT says that due to the increase in COVID cases and exposures among crew and staff, the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route will be running a reduced schedule effective immediately through Monday, Jan. 10.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • From Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • From Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Ferry passengers are encouraged to remain in their vehicles during shorter crossings and are reminded that they must wear face coverings when inside all passenger lounges and terminals.





  • Disgruntled

    If a smaller portion of the population have received the booster, the smaller percentage of cases in those who have received booster shoots doesn’t seem to change the story a whole lot.

    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 6:27 am
  • Just sayin

    This comment is not meant to say that vaccines and boosters are a bad idea. But percentages can be misleading. 8.5% of the positive tests were boosted. My question is, what is the percentage of the local population that is boosted? Quite a bit lower than the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated I am sure. So, of course it makes sense that the boosted have a much lower percentage of positive tests. With this line of thought, 8.5% is actually very high.

    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 8:37 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Just, I agree it is important to know what percentage of Dare residents have had booster shots and we look forward to publishing that data when it is available. At the other end, it is worth noting that a significant majority of Dare residents are fully vaccinated, but they make up a minority of infections.

    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 9:25 am
  • C A

    Thanks for the regular reporting updates and status of the virus, and it’s different strains. I sincerely appreciate these reports.

    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 11:45 am
  • anotherobxman

    Try adding some state and federal data to your story if you wish to give a clearer more accurate picture of the situation. Like how the state positivity rate is at 31% or how the pediatric hospitalizations have risen from 1% to 3% over the last month. What happens in Dare County doesn’t necessarily stay in Dare County. We don’t live in a bubble here.

    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 5:38 pm
  • R. Bo

    @Disgruntled @Just sayin, I think you may be misinterpreting the numbers. There are 4 possible categories of vaccination status- unvaxxed, partially so, fully vaxxed, and those who have had an additional booster. Of those, the “boosted” category is certainly the smallest percentage of the local population. But the article states that of the 576 TOTAL new cases,61% were unvaccinated and 39% were fully vaccinated. Clearly, the 8.5% boosted are part of the “fully” vaxxed. ( Unclear on partials.) So the low (8.5%)is of the TOTAL cases, not just the boosted, and shows that those who have gotten the additional shot are Much safer.


    Saturday, Jan 8 @ 9:46 pm
  • Just Sayin

    R. Bo,
    No, I dont think I am misinterpreting the numbers. If a smaller portion of the population is boosted, the smaller percentage of the positive cases would be the norm. I know the number isn’t 8.5% of boosted people. Sorry, but 8.5% of the cases is high for a vaccine with a boost. The point is, no matter if you are unvaccinated or boosted, or anywhere inbetween, you are susceptible to this.

    Sunday, Jan 9 @ 5:10 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    We don’t know if 8.5% is high, as you assert, until we know the percentage who have received a booster. But the data does show that even now, you are more susceptible to this if you are unvaccinated. And that doesn’t even take into account the major gap in serious illness between the unvaccinated and vaccinated.

    Sunday, Jan 9 @ 6:25 pm
  • Just sayin

    I am sorry, but I disagree. After all we’ve been told about this vaccine for the last year by Dr. Fauci, the head of the CDC and Biden, “if you get the vaccine, you won’t get Covid”. I don’t want to hear the proverbial “they never said that”, because they did. The breakthrough case rate of this vaccine is way higher than any other vaccine I can think of. Polio, Tuberculosis, small pox…etc…do not have numbers close to these. Sure, same old talking point, “but the vast majority of infections are unvaccinated”. Ok, but the breakthrough rate is still high relative to all other vaccines.

    Sunday, Jan 9 @ 8:38 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Just, so is your point that because the breakthrough rate is higher with COVID than for some other vaccines (let’s not forget that flu vaccines sometimes guess wrong on the strain of the flu that ends up circulating) you shouldn’t get a shot even though it will give you more protection than if you’re not vaccinated? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Sunday, Jan 9 @ 10:55 pm
  • Just sayin

    The point, Mark, is that the percentage rate of breakthrough infections is and has pretty much always been, high. But no one ever seems to want to state that, in comment or column. I never stated that folks “shouldn’t” get a shot of this or the flu shot or any other vaccine. Get it if you want to, please! But it is worth stating that the breakthrough cases are high. Its like, “Geez, would you look at that!” as a comment. The old argument that if you get the shot it will save you and others from getting it just doesn’t work anymore. It MAY keep you out of the hospital, but you can still get it and still spread it. Comments are not always persuasive arguments, no persuasion intended here, “just sayin'”.

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 5:03 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    For the record Just, in virtually all of the Voice weekly stories on COVID transmission in NC and Dare, we talk about the percentage of breakthrough cases. I also think that anyone paying even modest attention to the pandemic at this point knows that there are significant number of breakthrough cases with Omicron and that getting vaccinated and boostered greatly increases your chances of not having severe illness.

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 8:37 am
  • Disgruntled

    We don’t know a lot, I am dumbfounded that we still don’t know how many who have recovered and would have natural immunity test positive a second time. Over 99% chance of surviving what appears not to be much of a threat to healthy individuals vs. a vaccine that FDA wants 75 years to release safety data. You would think “science” would want to compare the risks.
    Why would someone who received 3 shots get tested?

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 7:40 am
  • Chris

    Stat of the day
    12/31-1/5 108,731 Covid cases
    79 deaths

    For comparison. Flu death rate is 0.01%. Flu deaths, using the flu death rate would be 109 deaths. That’s 30 more deaths than Covid. I didn’t use 1/6 bc there was only 1 death recorded in Nc. I think this is why no one mentions the death rate. It’s less than the flu.

    Numbers taken from ncdhhs.gov

    Flu death rate is 0.01%
    Covid is 0.0073%

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 7:42 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Chris, the good news is that Omicron, to this point, causes milder disease. But we also know that thus far in the epidemic, the death rate from COVID is certainly higher than the flu. The flu traditionally kills about 30,000-60,000 a year. COVID has killed more than 400,000 a year. Hopefully, if we are now in a phase where hospitalizations and deaths are in the flu range, we can adapt to it.

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 8:44 am
  • Sandflea

    Just sayin;
    You speak as if you are some sort of authority on Epidemiology. You disparage Dr Fauci who has been the head of Infectious Diseases/Epidemiology for seven presidents. I’m really curious as to what advanced degrees you have to place you in a position of authority on this subject to have knowledge that challenges or supersedes Dr Fauci. Seriously, what credentials do you have? From what I have observed is that people with the mentality you project are dying at about a 20:1 ratio vaccinated/unvaxxed. The unvaxxed are overwhelmingly the ones having a conversation with Darwin.
    So, are you really an expert, or just someone with Dunning-Kruger effect?

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 9:10 am
  • Billsnc


    I’m not sure the numbers you point out are useful, in that current positives don’t “match up” with current deaths. There is typically a 2-3 lag between positive tests and deaths.

    Also, while everyone is hung up on deaths, there are masses of people who survive, but have long-term (maybe lifelong?) complications post COVID infection.

    All that being said, it does sound like omicron is causing far fewer deaths/illness, so hopefully those numbers stay low!!

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 9:31 am
  • Sandflea

    Correction: People are dying at a 20:1 ratio unvaxxed/vaccinated

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 1:06 pm
  • Just sayin

    Who’s the know it all here, really? I was done until your comment. Go get the shot!! I’m all for it. I do have a bachelors degree in science, you are obviously the expert, not me. I am just pointing out the obvious. Sheesh, stay home, and mask up dude!

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 2:54 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    With this comment, I am officially ending the boxing match between Sandflea and Just Sayin.

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 10:30 pm
  • Disgruntled

    Here’s a problem,
    “New statistics show that more than 40 percent of the state’s (New York) hospitalized coronavirus-infected patients were admitted for “non-COVID reasons” — with the ratio in New York City “about 50-50,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday.”

    “Florida hospital system says 50% of its COVID patients are mainly there for other reasons.”

    Now I’ll go out on a limb and say there’s more of that to be revealed, and the same thing is happening when reporting covid deaths.

    We have not kept track of Flu deaths, hospitalizations, no testing (certainly not a PCR test for everyone), only under the age of 18 is reported, the Flu numbers are pure guess work. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/faq.ht
    I don’t think the numbers can be compared, for some reason we weren’t inflating the Flu numbers, we just lived and died with it.

    Monday, Jan 10 @ 5:52 pm
  • Just sayin

    Thank you Mark for letting me defend myself, he drew first blood. I was not going to comment anymore until this snide remarks

    Tuesday, Jan 11 @ 4:52 am
  • OBXathon

    Testing results are simply a product of whom is getting tested and can be a challenging benchmark to extrapolate wider data points.

    Within the last few days…

    Pfizer CEO: “Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. 3 doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection.”

    “What the vaccines can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.” CDC Director Walensky

    Actual infection rates in general are much higher than official case numbers, esp with Omicron. Large numbers are not getting PCR tested due to mild level of symptoms (and the resulting lowering fear factor), are using home tests or just test one member of a household when multiple members are all showing symptoms.

    This is actually good news as it means the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) for Omi is likely quite significantly lower than previous strains. It also means we are closer to peak and should see case counts begin to diminish soon as we are seeing in countries which are 2-3 weeks ahead of the US with regards to Omi transmission. Here’s to a great ’22 for all!

    Tuesday, Jan 11 @ 7:22 am
  • Freenusa

    Anybody reading about the “Hemorrhagic fever” out break in China. It is an Ebola type virus. It is my belief, people need to strengthen their own natural immune system, which is far superior to any “jab”, “shot” or “vaccine” you have injected into your body.

    Tuesday, Jan 11 @ 9:34 am
  • anotherobxman

    For all this talk about statistics, when it is you or your loved one, having the tube shoved down their throat it is 100%. Statistics don’t mean jack at that point. Wear a mask.

    Tuesday, Jan 11 @ 6:01 pm
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