Dare health director concerned about COVID-19 spread over holiday weekend


DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The health director in Dare County released a statement Thursday expressing her concern that the July 4 holiday weekend could result in “rampant spread of COVID-19” due to “reckless and irresponsible behavior.”

Health Director Sheila F. Davies wrote a memo in a county update Thursday warning people about attending large gatherings and foregoing social distancing, face coverings and hand-washing.

“This virus remains highly contagious and very unpredictable. The hospital and urgent care centers are reporting that they are seeing a number of individuals who were originally asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic when they first tested now seeking medical care for worsening symptoms,” Davies wrote.

Dare currently has 59 cases and one death. Of those, 33 are active cases and one is a hospitalization. Most of the positive cases in the past 10 days have come from people who attended a large party.

Davies reminded residents to adhere to the North Carolina executive orders that require social distancing, gatherings less than 10 people inside and 25 people outside, and face coverings.

Also, Davies said this week the county has “experienced some disturbing and irresponsible behavior” by people who have been called by health department employees about isolation and quarantine.

“We are required to contact individuals who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or determined to be a direct contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case. This week our callers have been hung up on and spoken to inappropriately when they have called. Additionally, people have refused to cooperate, refused to provide critical information for contact tracing and indicated they will not comply with quarantine and isolation orders.”

In response, Davies said she would issue isolation and quarantine orders for people who have tested positive for the virus and who have been direct contacts of a confirmed positive case.

“I know the July 4th holiday celebrations will look different this year, but if we all act responsibly we can at least help protect our community from the further spread of COVID-19,” Davies wrote.

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