Updated March 18. 11:18 a.m. and March 19. 5:44 p.m. and March 24
By Connie Leinbach and Peter Vankevich
As of today, the state had at least 48 confirmed cases in 16 counties, with no fatalities. Hyde and Dare counties have not had any reports.
Ocracoke, like everywhere else, has been and will continue to be affected. An earlier news story today announced that Dare County restricts visitor access, but Hyde County residents are exempted.
Here are some updates.
Gov. Roy Cooper today issued an executive order to close all North Carolina bars and restaurants for in-house dining but is allowing for take-out and delivery.
Grocery stores will remain open and he urged people not to “go overboard with buying, and leave some for others.”
Since this order will cost some people jobs, he outlined some changes made to receiving unemployment compensation. Those are 1. Removes the one-week waiting period before filing; 2. removes the requirement to look for another job; 3 allows those who lose jobs to apply for benefits right away; 4. they may apply via phone or online; 5. the state won’t require employers to pay for those who lose jobs because of the coronovirus.
“The new reality is people will lose jobs and businesses will lose customers,” Cooper said. “Some things are just going to have to change for a while. This will be a long and difficult road for us to travel.”
Howard’s Pub, only reopened in the last two weeks, and ramped down its service to take-out, but then closed again March 21.
Take-out service will be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. with the possibility of extending hours later.
Other island eateries posted the following changes:
1718 Brewing Ocracoke & Plum Pointe Kitchen:
Open for take out only, 5 to 8 p.m. Full Plum Pointe menu and discount crowlers.
Sorella’s Pizza & Pasta:
Open for take out or delivery (evenings only), Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Full menu except for appetizers and desserts.
Zillie’s hours will be 4 to 7:30 p.m. daily. Although we can’t serve food, wine or beer onsite, customers may still shop in our store for our great selection of wine, craft beer, and gourmet provisions to be enjoyed at home. If you prefer to not venture out, Zillie’s will deliver. Call 252-928-9036.
Taqueria 504suazo’s, Food truck, 58 creek road, 252-928-0068. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Many events scheduled in the near future are postponed or canceled.
The 2020 Ocracoke Island Runfest Weekend, scheduled for April 25 and 26, is postponed to Nov. 14 and 15.
The WOVV annual meeting scheduled for March 19 has been canceled.
The PTA Talent Show, scheduled for March 21, has been postponed indefinitely, said Laura McClain, PTA president.
The North Carolina Shell Club spring meeting for March 26 and 27 has been canceled.
The Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament (April 29 to May 1) has been canceled.
The British Cemetery Ceremony scheduled for May 8 has been canceled for this year.
Bread of Life Food Pantry: remote operation
In order to promote social distancing and protect our volunteers, the Bread of Life Food Pantry is suspending walk-in hours indefinitely effective immediately. Beginning Monday, March 23, the pantry will temporarily transition to a food hamper delivery system.
If you are in need of a food hamper delivery, please call 360-362-9796, or email email@example.com. Food hamper deliveries can be requested once a week per household.
The Ocracoke Community Library is closed through March 31 and will waive all overdue fines incurred during the closure. Online resources: pm this page if you need your library card # to access online resources at bhmlib.org.
NC Ferry Division
Has modified the routes to Ocracoke. See new schedule here.
Passengers are now being asked to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the voyage, if possible. Passengers who need to exit their vehicles are asked to follow guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including limiting contact with surfaces, remaining at least six feet away from other passengers and employees and washing hands for at least 20 seconds before returning to their vehicles.
The following is from Pastor Susie Fitch-Slater of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church:
“In light of the recent information given concerning the COVD-19 virus, all activities at Ocracoke United Methodist Church and Life Saving Church have been cancelled including Sunday worship services until further notice. I will live stream a message on Sunday. Please continue to use sound judgment and discretion as you make plans and continue your activities. This decision was made after much prayer and conversation with Pastor Ivey Belch and other leaders. It is not made from fear, but from an understanding that we are to be wise and use caution in our discernment.
“We will stay in touch with one another through texting, e-mails and phone calls. I remain available through of this as needed.”
Ocracoke Island Mobile Veterinarian
The following is from Laura Trent, DVM: Ocracoke Mobile Veterinarian will be departing Ocracoke on March 20 to go to rural Missouri for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic due to high risk family members. Please contact the clinic at 252-923-3787. There will be some availability by phone throughout for questions or records forwarding.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore announced today that the visitor centers at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial are temporarily closed effective immediately.
In other news, off-road vehicle (ORV) permits can be purchased online at www.recreation.gov.
The status of each ORV ramp and beach route can be found at http://go.nps.gov/beachaccess.
Beachgoers should use caution in the ocean as no lifeguards are on duty at this time of year.
The Oregon Inlet Campground, the Seashore’s only year-round campground, is closed.
The grounds of Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Lighthouses are open.
The Ocracoke Island roadside cleanup scheduled for March 26 is canceled.
The National Park Service (NPS) is taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.
Outer Banks Hospital
The Outer Banks Hospital has implemented new visitor restrictions. Only one immediate family member over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a patient at The Outer Banks Hospital and/or Medical Group clinic.
Starting today, The Outer Banks Hospital will begin screening patients and visitors for symptoms of illness as they enter the medical office building and main lobby. Patients and visitors with illness will be masked and asked to sanitize their hands prior to going to their appointment.