From our news services
Saying that North Carolina is seeing some of the highest COVID-19 case counts, percent positives, hospitalizations and ICU bed usage numbers, Gov. Roy Cooper today extended for three weeks, through Jan. 29, the modified stay at home order
The order requires people to be home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“No matter where you live, work, worship or play, COVID-19 remains a deadly threat, and we must treat it that way,” Cooper said.
Noting that 84 of North Carolina’s 100 counties are currently categorized as RED on the County Alert System, indicating the highest level of viral spread, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen issued a secretarial directive in response to the spreading virus.
“We are in a very dangerous position,” Cohen said. “North Carolinians need to take immediate actions to save lives, slow the spread of the virus, and protect hospital capacity so that medical care is available to anyone who may need it, whether for COVID-19 or for any other reason.”
The directive “cautions in stark terms against leaving your home for any reason other than work, school, health care needs or groceries.”
Cohen’s directive orders the following:
Wear a mask at all times and maintain physical distance (at least 6 feet) from people when outside your home to the maximum extent possible.
Stay at home: Limit your public interactions to essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food. Avoid leaving your home if you are over 65 or at high-risk for developing serious illness.
Avoid gathering with individuals that you do not live with. Multiple households should not co-mingle.
Assume you have become infected if you have gathered with individuals that you do not live with and get tested. Then participate in contact tracing.
Read the Secretarial Directive.
Acknowledged by Cohen, COVID-19 vaccinations are eligible for anyone in Phase 1b, Group 1, which are individuals who are 75 years of age or older living in Hyde County, both mainland and island.
The Hyde County Health Department announced that the Ocracoke Health Center is receiving the vaccine to immunize islanders; however, this does not prevent Ocracokers from getting their vaccine on the mainland if they so choose.
To get your vaccine at the Ocracoke Health Center, you should call 252-928-1511. If you want the vaccine on the mainland, call 252-926-4399. If your call is not answered promptly, at either facility, leave a message or call back. All healthcare facilities are currently overrun.
“These are trying times for everyone, and we must remain calm, patient, and be kind,” said Luana Gibbs, Hyde County Health Department director. “Vaccine allotments are coming every week. So eventually, people will get their shots.”
The next groups to get vaccinated will be Phase 1b, Group 2 which includes health care workers and frontline essential workers age 50 years and older, followed by Phase 1b, Group 3, health care workers and frontline essential workers of any age.
Please continue to monitor press releases to determine when Phase 1b Groups 2 and 3, and future phases are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
ACIP defines frontline workers as those whose job is essential for the COVID-19 response and who work in a setting that puts them at risk for being exposed to COVID-19, including:
First responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers
Food and agricultural workers
U.S. Postal Service workers
Grocery store workers
Public transit workers
Education and childcare workers (teachers, support staff, day care).
Testing continues to be a priority for those who have been exposed to the virus, or develop symptoms.
Contact Hyde County Health Department 252-926-4399, Engelhard Medical Center 252-925-7000, or Ocracoke Health Center 252-928-1511 for appointments.
For 24/7 on-call services, dial 1-866-462-3821, the Coronavirus Hotline.