978 new weekly COVID cases in Dare  

By on January 18, 2022

NC reports its 20,000th COVID death

While the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 may have peaked in other parts of the U.S., it is still on the rise in Dare County.

According to the new Jan. 18 COVID update from the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there were 978 cases reported in the week from Jan. 10-16. That tops last week’s record-breaking high of 799 weekly cases and is almost double the 513 cases reported just two weeks ago. 

The percentage of positive COVID tests recorded in the past week also rose to 47.54%, up modestly over the previous week’s 43.6% number. Put simply, it means that almost half of all tests are coming back positive now.

In addition, the DHHS reports that “the Omicron variant accounts for approximately 96% of the sequenced samples from our state and our region.”

Because Omicron is so highly contagious and appears to cause milder disease in many of those infected, the number of cases does not tell the whole story. In the Jan. 18 update, the DHHS reports that only 11 Dare County residents are currently hospitalized with the virus, down from 14 the week of Jan. 3-9. Also, there have been no new deaths reported in the past week.

One data point missing in the Jan. 18 update is the breakdown of overall weekly cases by vaccination status. In a response to the Voice, DHHS Director Sheila Davies indicated that part of the problem with reporting that data now is the sheer volume of cases.

“Due to the high number of positive cases and the unavailability of some data now due to the Mako [Drive-thru] testing, we can no longer calculate reliable ‘breakthrough’ case percentages, nor can we provide accurate data on symptomatic or not or close contacts,” she wrote. “In the past for sites where we were not provided this information, we could get it during contact tracing, but that is no longer feasible.

North Carolina

On Jan. 18, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) posted a grim statistic — the 20,000th COVID death since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The NCDHHS also reported 31,902 daily cases on Jan. 18, also reflecting the explosive growth of the number of cases in this Omicron surge.  The percentage of positive COVID tests statewide, while not quite at the Dare County level, is highly elevated at 33.3%.

The one area where statewide and local numbers vary the most dramatically is in hospitalizations. While the number of Dare County residents hospitalized with COVID remains low, the statewide number reported on Jan. 18 was 4,630. By way of comparison, that is exactly 3,000 more people than the 1,630 hospitalized with COVID just one month earlier on Dec. 18.

The state numbers don’t delineate between those who are hospitalized because of COVID infections from those who test positive for COVID after being admitted for other reasons. But the dramatic spike in these numbers corresponds to the rapid spread of COVID in the general population.




County Dare, North Carolina
Dare County Tourism Board

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Visitors Bureau will hold a public meeting to review the plans for an Outer Banks Event Center. The meeting will take place on Monday, June 6, 2022 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Keeper’s Galley building at Haven on the Banks, 115 Dove Street, Nags Head North Carolina 27959.

Still in the conceptual phase, the Event Center is intended to provide suitable and flexible space for year-round events, concerts, sports, meetings, smaller tradeshows, galas and any number of other uses. Learn more about the benefits for visitors and residents and how the Event Center is planned to complement the new Soundside boardwalk that is being designed.

Staff will be on hand to answer any questions. For additional information, please visit our Event Center FAQ page.



  • Disgruntled

    To me the breakthrough number is the all important number at this point. I’ve long ago given up beating the drum on the need to separate the reason someone was admitted to a hospital.
    How hard is it to ask someone if they where vaccinated when you test them? Disturbing they’re not keeping track of breakthroughs in someway, science needs it. This number needs to be kept track of!

    Tuesday, Jan 18 @ 4:56 pm
  • One

    January 17, 2022
    2:30 p.m.
    430 new cases
    119 vaccinated (38 boosted, vaccine status was unavailable for 136 cases)
    Wow they can be tested and counted but not asked a simple question On vaccination status… Doesn’t make much sense. Thank you voice for asking questions, please include the link to the dare county Health site in your article. Thanks

    Tuesday, Jan 18 @ 11:25 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Sorry One, we will include the link.

    Wednesday, Jan 19 @ 7:55 am
  • MikeS

    I agree Disgruntled, the breakthrough rate is an important number for us all to help us understand the full picture. I can think of a few obvious reasons why they would stop reporting this number and, for some reason, don’t always trust what the people in charge tell us what their rationale is for not reporting such important data.

    Wednesday, Jan 19 @ 5:04 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Mike, of course the percentage of breakthrough cases is a good number to have, but if you and others are interested in the question of whether vaccines work, there are other crucial data points. For the week ending Jan. 8, for example, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that 77% of those with COVID in North Carolina hospitals are unvaccinated and 87% of those hospitalized in ICUs are unvaccinated.

    Wednesday, Jan 19 @ 8:09 am
  • MikeS

    Mark I am fully aware of the data percentages you stated. Do you have the breakdown on ages, obesity rates, etc… for those percentages? Another important metric for people. And no, it is not a statement that vaccines don’t work… but, some time ago, Dr Walenski(sp?) claimed vaccines would prevent infection, that has, sadly, become clearly incorrect which does become messaging problem.

    Wednesday, Jan 19 @ 8:23 am
  • Dan

    Mark – I agree that the vaxed are probably less likely to get a serious case of Covid – so the hospitalization numbers are a big part of the picture. My issue is with mandates and proof of Vax cards in some parts of the nation (DC, Boston, NY, etc). Since we now know that Covid can spread among either the Vaxed or the Un-vaxed why would anyone still support firing or restricting Americans over their vaccination status. These mandates are, ostensibly, to protect others in the workplace and have nothing to do with hospitals (unless you work in one). There is no logic behind forcing a vaccine on folks if it will not protect co-workers. Why are we so slow to adapt and recognize the obvious?

    Wednesday, Jan 19 @ 10:03 am
  • resident

    Why are we so slow to adapt and recognize the obvious? That is a great question. It is concerning when individuals have the necessary information from organizations such as the Center for Decease Control , The World Health Organizations, every state Department of Health and Human Services, the hospitals whose workers are pleading to the public to get vaccinated, and still continue to debate getting vaccinated to slow the spread and avoid serious health complications. Yes unfortunately the vaccinated can have breakthrough cases but they would be in the minority as compared to unvaccinated. The hospital numbers tell the story. It is the unvaccinated that are prone to become seriously ill requiring hospitalization . We are taxing our hospitals and the dedicated doctors , nurses ,respiratory specialists, etc. Also the essentials workers that are exhausted from two years of this pandemic. We appear to ignore facts, refuse to educate ourselves, are not considerate of how our decisions affect other human beings ,are selfish and have lost any common sense.

    Thursday, Jan 20 @ 1:25 pm
  • Justin

    How did we live 3 years ago with a flu more deadly? Anyone? What continues to not be reported, as planned, is the fatality rate. I find it strange that when I enquired about the fatality rate from the dare health department, guess what, they didn’t know. Smh I’ve asked up here and my question has been seen by one person, but doesn’t get a response. In case you’re wondering, flu season pandemic of 2017-2018 was 50% more fatal than Covid is now. I don’t recall anyone asking about vaccinations, mask, or anything. No one cared, but now, a virus less deadly and look at how everyone is acting. Pretty weird. Is this the same place that got blasted at the board of Ed meeting for reporting false numbers?

    Friday, Jan 21 @ 5:27 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Justin, if you want to figure out the death rate for COVID in the U.S., the state or Dare County, you can take the number of reported deaths and divide by the number of reported cases — data that is readily available.

    Also, fortunately the Omicron variant that is now dominant does not appear as likely to cause death as previous variants. Having said that, you have to go back a century to see when a flu variant killed anywhere near 850,000 Americans in a two-year time span.

    Friday, Jan 21 @ 10:00 am