COVID-19 Bulletin #35
April 8, 2020
In North Carolina, there are currently 3,426 cases of COVID-19 in 90 counties. There have been 53 fatalities in NC associated with COVID-19. Currently, the state is reporting 386 hospitalizations across the state from COVID-19 illness.
To date, Dare County has reported ten positive test results for COVID-19. Of the ten individuals who have tested positive, 5 have completely recovered, 3 are asymptomatic (meaning they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms), 1 is recovering in isolation and 1 remains hospitalized out of the county.
Ongoing Preparedness Efforts
Many have asked questions about Dare County's readiness in the event we begin to see a large increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. Across the nation, state, as well as in Dare County, agencies are taking all steps possible to address the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Division’s epidemiology team composed of the health director, communicable disease nurse, clinical director, health education director, environmental health supervisor, communications specialist and several other key staff members has been meeting weekly, and some weeks daily, since the first week of February. The team also has weekly conference calls with the North Carolina State Epidemiologist Dr. Zach Moore to discuss various outbreak indicator models. The team continues planning and revising plans accordingly. Dare County is fortunate to have a very strong local epidemiology team as well as exceptional epidemiology support at the state level.
With this being a novel virus, there is constantly new information being learned about the virus and the guidance changes frequently. Local health officials meet daily with Dare County medical providers to ensure they are operating using the latest guidance.
There is also a very strong coordinated emergency response structure in place for this public health emergency and local health officials communicate daily with partners including emergency management, EMS, hospital, medical providers, schools, local governments, law enforcement, social services, and other key stakeholders. Since efforts began over three weeks ago, the Outer Banks Hospital leadership has been engaged with local public health leadership daily, if not more often, as actions are taken to meet the medical needs of the community while preparing for and responding to COVID cases.
Medical Surge Capacity
Across the state, North Carolina Emergency Management and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Medical Operations staff have taken actions to develop hospital surge capacity. Building that capacity includes identifying large facilities like convention centers/arenas around the state that are, or can be converted for use to provide hospital level care. The US Army Corps of Engineers along with the NC National Guard has been assessing sites across the state that could be used as medical surge facilities for patient overflow if the hospitals are filled.
Part of the state’s reasoning to build regional medical surge capacity is tied to the availability of critical medical equipment and personnel. While every community would like to see the deployment of a field hospital, that is not a possibility. Locally, plans are for patients with critical care needs to be moved to larger hospitals outside of the area. Even without COVID-19, most critically ill patients are transported to locations where they can receive the higher level of care they need. Our local hospital is a critical access hospital and is prepared to stabilize patients with critical health care needs and transport them to appropriate facilities. Those transports continue today and are being factored into the additional capacity being established in North Carolina.
Knowing there would be a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), local health officials have looked for sources of supply only to find them quickly taken away, as state and federal agencies work to fill shortfalls. On April 3, the state of North Carolina issued revised Guidelines for Allocation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Dare County Department of Health and Human Services is following those guidelines and conserving PPE by using practices established by the Centers for Disease Control and state public health officials.
Now that community spread is likely in our community, you must act as if everyone you come in contact with has COVID-19 and has the ability to spread the virus. To protect yourself, your family, and our community, it is imperative that everyone in Dare County follows the Stay Home - Stay Healthy order (which aligns with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Executive Order). Restrict ALL non-essential movement. Only go out when absolutely necessary (for essential needs). Avoid direct contact, other than immediate family members. Practice good hygiene.
To help those impacted by COVID-19, a list of community resources and information on filing for unemployment, food support, emergency business loans, legal aid, and utility assistance is available at darenc.com/covidresources.
For updated information regarding Dare County services and department operations, visit www.darenc.com/covidservices.
The Dare County COVID-19 Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff is available to answer your questions at 252.475.5008.
Rely on credible sources for accurate, updated information. Visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus or NCDHHS at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. For information specific to Dare County, visit darenc.com/covid19.
The Outer Banks Hospital
Beginning Thursday April 9, The Outer Banks Hospital will close the Main Lobby entrance. All outpatients should enter the building using the Medical Office Building entrance located on the north west corner of the hospital campus. The ED entrance remains open 24/7. This announcement is not a cause for alarm; it is simply a proactive measure to reduce resources needed to screen patients and team members at our entrances.
Town of Duck
To protect our citizens and staff, we ask you to call or email the office to ask how we may be able to assist you remotely. Staff are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The April 8 Planning Board meeting has been canceled.
Bulk trash collection scheduled for April 17 has been postponed. Please do not place items at the curb at this time. Dispose of what will fit in your trash can. We will reschedule the collection as soon as possible.
Bulk waste permits are currently not available from the office due to the temporary closure of the Kitty Hawk facility.
The Town office will be closed on Friday, April 10 for the holiday. We’ll reopen on Monday, April 13 at 9 a.m.
Town of Southern Shores
Town Facilities-Town facilities remain closed to the public and all Town Hall business is being conducted via phone, email, fax, or other virtual means. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.
Meetings - The Southern Shores Town Council held a meeting on April 7, 2020 , which is available for viewing at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JnhfT87RAY&feature=youtu.be
-The April 20, 2020 Planning Board meeting has been cancelled. Consideration of the new flood maps and update to Southern Shores Town Code Chapter 16, Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance will be added to the next meeting agenda. The next scheduled meeting is to be held on May 18, 2020. A Special Meeting could be called prior to that meeting in the event the current COVID-19 situation improves within that timeframe.
Building Inspections-Building inspections are still being conducted, however, meetings in person with the Building Inspector on-site are limited. Inspection requests should be called in to the Planning & Code Enforcement Department by calling 252-261-2394 ext. 3 or email Dabni Shelton, Permit Officer at email@example.com. Permit applications can be submitted online by utilizing the link to Citizenserve on the Town website: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/online-permit-submittals/. Feel free to call the Planning & Code Enforcement Department at 252-261-2394 ext. 3 should you have any questions.
Police Department-The Southern Shores Police Department would like you to be aware of possible scams/fraud attempts in the coming weeks, as it relates to COVID19 Economic Impact Payments from the Federal Gov’t. Please read the attached press release from the US Secret Service Charlotte Office. https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-Press-release-CHAFO-040320.pdf
Town of Kitty Hawk
Town offices are open normal business hours 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Face-to-face contact is being limited.
Before visiting any Kitty Hawk office, please check the appropriate website or call to discuss the best way to conduct business. For contact information, please visit https://www.kittyhawknc.gov/coronavirus-disease/.
The April 6, 2020 Town Council Meeting Can Be Viewed Here. April 6, 2020 Town Council Meeting
Please send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. Please note in your email that you would like your statement to be read at the meeting and be sure to include your full name and address.
Other Town Information:
The Town has begun mobile Ocean Rescue Patrol, daily between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
The Town’s Recycle Center will be closed until further notice.
The playgrounds at Paul Pruitt Park and Sandy Run Park are closed. The parks will remain open for passive recreational activities. When visiting any of the Town’s parks please practice social distancing.
The Spring Chipping Service will not be held in April and has been postponed until the Fall.
Town of Kill Devil Hills
As we do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, by encouraging social distancing, access to our offices remain restricted. All Town Departments have made adjustments to continue serving you in a safe, yet, proficient manner. Many services can be conducted by phone, email, fax, or by using our website. Please visit our website, www.kdhnc.com for each Department’s contact information.
The Town of Kill Devil Hills offices will be closed on Friday, 4/10/20, in observance of Good Friday. All Town offices will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, 4/13/20.
Water disconnections for nonpayment are suspended until 6/1/20. In addition, no new penalties or late fees will be applied during this time. However, customers are still responsible for making payments for water services. If you would like to set up a six-month payment plan, contact our Public Services Department at 252-480-4080. More information can also be found on the Town’s website.
For Solid Waste information, including adjustments for the Good Friday holiday and the bulk trash collection schedule: www.kdhnc.com/CivicSend/ViewMessage/Message/108836
Town of Nags Head
Town of Nags Head employees are working hard to ensure the services that our residents depend on continue uninterrupted during these challenging times. Please continue to conduct your business with the Town via the phone or online. More information is available at nagsheadnc.gov/coronavirus or by calling 252-441-5508.
Links to information regarding unemployment assistance and aid for businesses can also be found at nagshadnc.gov/coronavirus.
There will be no change to the Town’s sanitation schedule due to the Easter holiday. The bulk item/brush collection yard will remain on its normal schedule, operating on Saturday, April 11 from 9 am to 3 pm and again on Monday, April 13 from 9 am to 3:30 pm.
Town offices will be closed on Friday, April 10, 2020. Emergency services, such as police and fire responses, will not be interrupted.
Town of Manteo
Special Note – Town of Manteo offices will be closed on Friday, April 10th, in observance of the Easter Holiday.
Town Operations – Access to Town Hall is limited. Call 473-2133 first to handle issues over the phone or online. Ring doorbell and use intercom prior to entry. Utility service disconnections, late fees, and penalties are suspended. Water charges will still be billed. Payment plans are available. Sanitation is on the regular schedule. Bulky item pick-ups are only Monday and Thursday.
Police Department – Access to Police Department is limited. If emergency, dial 911. Call 473-2069 for non-emergency weekday service or 473-3444 after hours. Ring doorbell and use the intercom prior to entry during weekdays. There is a call box for after-hours use at the MPD entrance.
Public Facilities – Town parks are open. Practice social distancing. Playgrounds and restrooms are closed. Pea Island Cookhouse Museum, Maritime Museum, and Lighthouse are closed. Downtown Marina is closed to visitors.
Special Events – 05/02 Litter Pick-Up postponed to 11/14. Downtown Market postponed until further notice.
The next bulletin will be issued no later than 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 9.