Dare County’s COVID-19 positivity rate jumped this week to 11.3%, with 40 new cases reported since Tuesday, July 6.
The county went from a 2% positivity rate for the week of June 21 to a 7% positivity rate for the week of July 5 to 11.3% for this past week, Dare County Health and Human Services said in its Tuesday update.
At the state level the Delta variant has rapidly replaced the other variants as the predominant variant. Local tests are still being sequenced to assess for variants, a process that takes about three weekend.
“However, based on the prevalence of the Delta variant in the state it is reasonable to expect the Delta variant is present in Dare County,” health officials said. “For the week of 6/7, a little over 10% of the sequenced COVID-19 viruses from NC were identified as the Delta variant. For the week of 6/14, that percentage rose to 40%. The Delta variant is 66% more transmissible and early indication is that it causes more illness and potentially more hospitalizations.
“Evidence shows that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness associated with the Delta variant. The attack rate of the virus is much lower in the vaccinated population than in the unvaccinated population.”
Of the new Dare County cases reported over the last week:
34 (86%) are symptomatic
36 (90%) acquired the virus by direct contact with unvaccinated individuals who were positive for COVID-19.
8 breakthrough cases reported this past week (5 had J&J vaccine; 2 had Moderna, and 1 had Pfizer).
Currently, there are 29 active COVID-19 cases among residents of Dare County. There have been a total of 19 breakthrough COVID-19 cases reported in Dare County.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Epidemiological data indicates the state is at the beginning of another surge of COVID-19 infections. The Delta variant is a significantly more contagious variant and an increase in infections is inevitable. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. People who are vaccinated are far less likely to get infected with COVID-19 than those who are not vaccinated.In North Carolina, 99.2% of newly diagnosed cases are in unvaccinated individuals. In addition to getting vaccinated, other ways you can protect yourself and your family include limiting prolonged direct contact with unvaccinated individuals who do not live in your household, wearing a mask when in large crowds, especially indoors, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
All individuals 12 years of age and over are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available at numerous locations throughout the county including the health department and many area pharmacies like: Walgreens, CVS, Sunshine Family Pharmacy, Island Pharmacy, Bear Drugs, and Beach Pharmacy.
Since late December 2020, a total of 23,136 (63%) of eligible Dare County residents have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 22,143 (60%) are fully vaccinated.
In addition to preventing serious illness and death, getting your COVID-19 vaccine prevents you from being quarantined if you are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, as long as you remain symptom free.
Each week we review the 4 key metrics associated with disease investigation and surveillance. The metrics are:
Number of Tests
Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Tests
COVID Like Illness Surveillance
This past week there were 355 COVID-19 diagnostic tests reported in Dare County. This brings the total number of tests performed since early March of last year to 41,781. There were 40 positive cases between July 5 and July 11. The percentage of positive tests to overall tests in Dare County since we started testing in March 2020 increased to 8.06%. The percent of positive tests to total tests for the past week also increased to 11.3%. Syndromic surveillance of individuals presenting with COVID like symptoms to the emergency department and urgent care centers showed an increase in activity. These graphs can be found on the Dare County website at www.darenc.com/covid19.