Nancy Hill, left, and her daughter, Carolyn Hill, both of Washington, Beaufort County, say they’re ‘following the rules’ and wearing their face coverings while inside the Variety Store. Photo: C. Leinbach

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By Connie Leinbach

The Hyde County Health Department will no longer issue press releases when it receives word of new cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Luanna Gibbs, Hyde County Health Director, said in an interview today that the county is indeed getting new cases every day and with everything they are doing, such as contact tracing, with this pandemic, a daily press release is not necessary, nor is she required to issue press releases.

Although she hasn’t yet decided, she may issue weekly press releases.

“Most health departments are not doing (daily press releases),” she said. “The info is out there for the public to see.”

That information is on the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services website on their COVID-19 information dashboard at

It is updated at 11 a.m., according to the website, but Gibbs noted that what may be posted on that site may differ from Hyde’s case data.

It’s all about the timing of receiving lab reports.

For example, since the most recent press release on Thursday, which announced that the health department would no longer issue press releases when a case was confirmed and which said Hyde had 13 confirmed cases. But during the interview at around 2 p.m. today, four days later, Gibbs said that the county has 20 confirmed cases.

Customers don their face coverings before entering Jason’s Restaurant. Jason Wells says that, in general, most people on the island are wearing masks. Photo: C. Leinbach

In a check back with her at around 3:30 p.m., Gibbs said two more cases were reported.

Now Hyde has a total of 22 cases, 11 of which have recovered and 11 that are active.

Of the total, Gibbs said one individual was hospitalized but has since recovered and there have been no deaths.

Gibbs noted that the NCDHHS website does not say how many of those total cases have recovered.

“And they won’t,” she said. “The local health departments will have recovery data.”

Gibbs expects the cases in Hyde to continue to increase since the virus is still very active, and she stressed continued following of safety protocols.

“Prevention of spread is up to us, the people, and how assertive we are with our efforts,” she said.  “If everyone truly follows the guidelines (of the three Ws), go ahead and live your life and be mindful (of this virus).”

Those three Ws are: Wear a face covering; Wait six feet away from other people; and Wash your hands frequently.

Gov. Roy Cooper on June 24 ordered that the wearing of face coverings is mandatory statewide and continued Phase 2 of reopening until July 17.

Gibbs said the Hyde County Health Department posts the totals daily on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Her department is available for questions at 252-926-4399. Hyde Health advises all to get COVID-information from reliable sources, such as:
–NC Division of Health and Human Services,, 1-866-462-3821 (NC Coronavirus Hotline
–Hyde County Health Department:

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  1. You need to be transparent in this time of uncertainty and release daily numbers for your community

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