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Dare Co. officials release plan for lifting restrictions on entry to county

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 17:34:15-04

DARE Co., N.C. - Dare County officials have prepared a plan to address lifting restrictions on entry to the county while protecting the safety of those in the community.

The plan was prepared in consultation with the Dare County Control Group, taking science, trends, data, epidemiology and resource availability into careful consideration.

The first phase will allow entry of non-resident property owners.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of changes that have improved the county’s position regarding COVID-19, including:

  • The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Dare County have been stable for over a week. County officials say have been no new cases in that time.
  • Syndromic surveillance indicates no immediate increase in respiratory illness or COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Testing is now readily available in Dare County in accordance with current NC DHHS guidelines.
  • Testing turnaround, the time between specimen collection and test results, has dramatically decreased over the past few weeks. Results are now received within 24-72 hours.
  • The Dare County Department of Public Health has increased capacity for contact tracing.
  • Dare County Emergency Management has confirmed with essential business operators, primarily grocery retailers, that with advance notice they have the ability to increase delivery of essential goods. As the number of shoppers increases, people may experience a greater wait time to enter a store due to restrictions on the number of customers allowed entry which is based on square footage of the store. Shoppers should also expect to see changes in product availability as supply chain demand fluctuates across the nation.
  • Medical surge capacity has gone from planning to implementation locally, regionally and across the State of North Carolina. Based on current COVID-19 case numbers and future projections, patients can be transported to a healthcare facility that can provide the higher level of care as needed.

Dare County will open to non-resident property owners who have a valid entry permit with a matching government-issued ID according to the following schedule:

  • Beginning Monday, May 4 at 6 a.m. - Entry begins and is ongoing for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with A - I
  • Beginning Wednesday, May 6 at 6 a.m. - Entry begins and is ongoing for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with J - R
  • Beginning Friday, May 8 at 6 a.m. - Entry begins for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with S - Z

The following restrictions will remain in place and must be followed:

  • Dare County’s "Stay Home - Stay Healthy" order has been extended to May 22.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Mass gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer individuals.
  • Travel only for essential needs.
  • Only have direct contact with members of your immediate household.
  • All essential retailers must adhere to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's Executive Order No. 131 and comply with restrictions on the number of individuals allowed entry based on square footage of space.

In addition to the above restrictions, people are now required to wear a mask or cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

All non-resident property owners should bring their own supplies to sustain themselves in their homes as much as possible, including groceries, prescriptions, paper products and other essentials.

Decisions regarding access to Dare County for visitors will be addressed at a future date to allow for necessary syndromic surveillance and monitoring of resource availability.

Entry permits can be obtained here. Following the instructions provided, non-resident property owners can receive permits by applying online. Permits will be issued to the two “Primary Owners” listed on the tax record for each property. Questions on entry can be sent to COVID19@darenc.com.

Click here to see the county's full plan and more frequently asked questions.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.