Hyde County Manager Kris Cahoon Noble at 5 p.m. today issued the following on COVID-19:

Stay calm but remain vigilant to stop the spread of COVID 19.

Hyde County Manager Kris Noble. Photo: P. Vankevich

COVID-19, one of the coronaviruses that is spreading throughout the world, the United States and North Carolina now, is characterized as a respiratory illness. COVID-19 is spread by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact.

The sharing of information and adherence to suggested guidelines from health officials are the most proactive steps we can all take right now. Make sure the information that you are relying on comes from trusted sources.

The Center for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Safety https://www.ncdhhs.gov and the Hyde County Health Department http://www.hydehealth.com are the most trusted and reliable sources of information available.

At the time of this release, the following case statistics in North Carolina exist per NCDHHS.

Updated daily by 11 a.m. Last updated 3 p.m., March 23:  *NC Cases, 297;  NC Deaths, 0;  **NC Completed Tests, 8,438;   ***US Cases, 33,404; ***US Deaths, 400

*This number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs.

** This number reflects testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial laboratories.

*** These numbers are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are updated by the CDC at 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

On March 21, the Hyde County Health Department was notified of Hyde County’s first positive COVID-19 case. After following NC DHHS guidelines on contact tracing and working diligently, the health department was able to determine that the identified case had been isolated in another county where the individual resides. The individual has more than one address and provided a Hyde County address when tested, causing Hyde to be the county of ownership. The individual reports there has been no travel to Hyde County during or after illness and there has been no contact with any individual in Hyde County during this period. This case will be followed in the appropriate county of residence, but Hyde County citizens should remain cognizant of the fact we are still vulnerable to the illness.

Mitigation efforts:
Hyde County is now under a state of emergency. 

Mass gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, and we strongly discourage any gatherings of more than 10 people.

Restaurant operations are restricted to pick up and delivery orders only.

Visitor restrictions to Ocracoke began at 5 a.m. Thursday, March 19. Non-resident property owners will be restricted beginning Tuesday, March 24, unless that non-resident property owner is currently working on critical repairs to their property. In that case they may be issued a temporary access permit to complete that work.

Emergency personnel, residents and local business workers only (Red, Yellow and Green Reentry Tags) will be allowed access. Non-resident property owners and construction workers will have to apply for and receive a temporary permit through an online process located at www.hydecountync.gov/ocracoke-covid.

Public access will be restricted to Hyde County government buildings beginning Tuesday, March 23. Hyde County government offices can be accessed as follows. In all cases: CALL BEFORE YOU COME.

Numbers are listed below for individual offices

Hyde County Manager’s office: 252-926-4178.

The assistant to the county manager can be reached by emailing lstotesberry@hydecountync.gov and the county manager can be reached by emailing knoble@hydecountync.gov.

Hyde County Building Inspections: 252-926-4372 or jhodges@hydecountync.gov. Permit applications are available online and a drop box for fees and applications is located in the government center lobby. Site inspections are still available by appointment.

The Hyde County Clerk of Court: 252-926-4700.

Hyde County Cooperative Extension: 252-926-4486 and by appointment when necessary.

Hyde County Elections is currently closed to the public, but the Elections Officer can be reached at 252-926-4194 or at vwilliams@hydecountync.gov.

Many services are available online.

Hyde County Department of Social Services: 252-926-4476. Applications can be completed online. The Department of Social Services delivers mandated services from the federal government. For that reason the lobby is open to the public where paper applications for all programs are available. There is a secure lockbox in the lobby to place your applications. For your convenience, there is a telephone in the lobby. The office is staffed to answer any questions via telephone. There will be no face-to-face contact with staff unless deemed necessary by the director.

Hyde County Health Department is asking everyone to call 252-926-4399 and speak to the staff before visiting. COVID-19 testing continues for those who meet the criteria and they will continue to see sick patients.  The Health Department is working diligently to provide the most up-to-date information available at http://hydehealth.com  This site is updated continually and links to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services site.

Hyde County Finance: 252-926-4192 or by emailing cgibbs@hydecountync.gov or  lmooney@hydecountync.gov.

Hyde County Human Resources: 252-926-5282 or by emailing tblake@hydecountync.gov.

Hyde County Public Information and Information Technology: 252-926-4474 or by emailing  dshumate@hydecountync.gov

Ocracoke Liaison (Teresa Adams): 252-368-6430 or by emailing tadams@hydecountync.gov

Hyde County Sheriff’s Office: 252-926-3171. In case of an emergency please call 911. If not an emergency or if after normal working hours, please call Dare Central Communications at 252-473-3444.

Hyde County Soil and Water: 252-926-4195 or 252-926-5291.

The Mattamuskeet Senior Center is temporarily closed to clients. Meals on Wheels is still operational and implementing safeguards against the spread.

Hyde County Register of Deeds: 252-926-4182 or 252-926-4183; email mspencer@hydecountync.gov and the Register of Deeds assistant can be emailed at rwheeler@hydecountync.gov Any visits to the ROD will be by appointment only.

Hyde County Tax Office: 252-926-4188 or 252-926-4186 for questions or to pay your bill over the phone. Tax payments can also be made online at http://www.hydecountync.gov Checks and money orders can be deposited in a drop box outside of the tax office.

Hyde County Utilities Department: 252-926-4196. Payments can be made online at http://www.hydecountync.gov and a drop box is available outside of the office for checks and/or money orders.

Hyde County Veteran’s Services: 252-926-4383 or by emailing sstotesberry@hydecountync.gov

Hyde County Convenience sites will remain open. However, we ask the visiting public to maintain a six-foot distance from employees and each other while utilizing the sites.

Hyde County staff is committed to serving the public during this unprecedented time and will work to serve the public’s needs while also protecting the staff and the public.

What can we all do right now to stop the spread of COVID 19:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid close contact with people (maintain a distance of six feet).
Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

We are asking everyone in Hyde County to stay home when possible, maintain a six-foot distance from people when making necessary outings and to remain calm and vigilant.

Keep yourself up to date with the health resources in this letter. When and if a case occurs trust that the Hyde County Health Department will diligently trace and isolate those infected to prevent further spread. Together through diligent effort we can stop the spread of this threat across our county.

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