The Alligator River bridge on Route 64 leads to the Outer Banks. Photo: C. Leinbach

Breaking news regarding efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 continued today with the biggest news that Dare County has restricted access into the county beginning at 2 p.m today.

The Dare County Control Group made the decision following the guidelines from the CDC to avoid discretionary travel and The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America. Although checkpoints were established at entry points to Dare County and no new visitors will be allowed access, visitors already here are not being asked to leave.

Visitors will not be allowed to travel through Dare County to get to Currituck (Corolla) and  Tyrrell counties or Hyde County to Ocracoke Island via Hatteras. People who reside, own property or work in Corolla or Ocracoke, will be allowed entry.

Hyde County Public Information Officer Donnie Shumate added that while the restriction is in place, Hyde County residents will be treated as though they are Dare County residents if they need to travel between counties for whatever reason.

He confirmed that although visitors cannot now access Ocracoke via Hatteras (Dare County) there are no restrictions yet via Swan Quarter or Cedar Island, but noted that this may change after the Ocracoke Advisory Control Group meets today at 5 p.m.

Residents in Dare County or adjoining counties traveling to Dare are urged to reach out to businesses, government offices or healthcare providers prior to arriving since businesses may have altered services or hours. 

To avoid contact with personnel, please display your re-entry permit (or other ID) on your dashboard so it is clearly visible for checkpoint personnel.

“While there are currently no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, officials weighed the potential benefits for community health along with the tremendous impacts these restrictions have on our community,” the press release said. “These restrictions may be inconvenient, disappointing and have financial impacts, however, they were made in the interest of public safety to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

As of today, in North Carolina there are now 48 cases in 16 counties.  In addition to Dare, there are no confirmed cases in Hyde County. 

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 15 Days to Slow the Spread.
Yesterday the federal government announced guidelines and a plan to slow the spread of COVID-19. Dare County will adhere to the guidance from CDC and North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS). All Dare County community members should adhere to the guidelines that were issued and available at

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