Protecting Public Health and Safety on The Outer Banks/OBX/Dare During COVID-19 Pandemic
Protecting Public Health and Safety on The Outer Banks/OBX/Dare During COVID-19 Pandemic
*Note: WE LIVE IN THE DARE COUNTY CONTROL GROUP'S COVID HOT SPOT. THEY OWN THIS...
Nearly one half of the Dare County's total deaths have occurred in February.
On February 5, 2021, Dare County's Department of Health and Human Services (DCDHHS) reported an ONE (1) DEATH. On February 3, 2021, DCDHHS reported THREE (3) DEATHS, making it the DEADLIEST month since the pandemic began. Just DAYS after Chairman Bob Woodard BRAGGED about how "great" the COVID numbers are during his State of the County address.
On January 12, 2021, the SEVENTH resident of Dare County DIED.
On January 4, 2021, the SIXTH resident of Dare County DIED. On November 30, the FIFTH fatality was reported.
On November 13, 2020, the FOURTH resident COVID-19 DIED. A young man of 48 years. He was UPS employee.
January 10th broke our daily record for the most cases reported in a single day: 75.
ONE HUNDRED NINETY (190), cases are currently ACTIVE.
FIVE RESIDENTS, (5) are hospitalized, (after the 4 deaths since 2/3). A total of 85 positive cases have been reported in February 2021. In January of 2021, DCDHHS reported 923 positive cases. Over THIRTY TIMES as many as we had from March to May 29th. IN ONE MONTH.
As of May 29, 2020 there were 22 reported cases in Dare. In January of 2021, DCDHHS reported 923 positive cases, EXCEEDING the COMBINED TOTALS for November & December 2020 of 919.
There are currently 2642 cases.
Those that are in power...our alleged "leaders", the Dare County Control Group, the Dare County Board of Commissioners and the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services are IMPOTENT. They are not enforcing or issuing any regulations, mandates or common sense LAWS, and are PERSONALLY responsible for the loss of SEVEN of our fellow citizens to the ravages of COVID-19. Because they believe that making money is more important than the safety of residents, workers and tourists.
We, the undersigned, are urging you to reverse your outright capitulation to solely economic interests by allowing COVID-19 to flourish in Dare County.
The Dare County Board of Commissioners, the Dare County Control Group and the mayors of each individual town have invited sickness, death and the unending sorrow that it will engender as our residents and visitors become victims of this scourge. But you, our "leaders" seem not to be alarmed enough by well over a 1000% jump in positive cases to implement enforceable rules and regulations.
From March 13 to May 28, 2020 there were 22 positive cases on the Outer Banks/OBX. The cases have been increasing exponentially since the reintroduction of tourists. New positive cases EVERY SINGLE DAY.
As of 10 a.m., February 7, 2021 we have 2642 positive cases, 11 deaths and 5 hospitalizations. Nearly one HALF of our total cases came in the months of November and December. January our positive cases are OVER TWO THIRDS of those in the combined months of November and December. January's 923 cases broke the previous monthly totals by 50%. February has brought nearly half of the total deaths.
We are firmly among the top 10 NC counties with the fasting growing number of positive cases, percentage-wise.
A RED ZONE.
Despite the DCDHHS's assertions, recent known positive cases are the direct result of community spread. Some of these patients, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, are violating isolation and quarantine orders. They are out in our community knowingly or unknowingly spreading the virus. This is unacceptable. This is dangerous.
The Dare County Control Group in concert with the Board of Commissioners, opened the county on May 16 and the transmission of the novel Coronavirus increased exponentially. Deaths and hospitalizations are increasing.
We all understand the importance of supporting local businesses and we all want to contribute to their success. However, the rush to open the county to “business as usual” has also created dire negative consequences for the people who live here year-round and support local businesses year-round. If the DCBOC and the DCCG are personally supporting local businesses, you will have most certainly noticed that the many residents and some visitors to our county are still resisting wearing of masks, social distancing, or any other “recommended” protective measures. Further, there have been far too many instances of residents and visitors abusing business owners and staff who request that customers wear a mask while in the store.
Reopening the community to tourism might have seemed like a prudent thing to do in the wake of an economic collapse, but the Dare County Board of Commissioners and the Dare County Control Group put dollar signs ahead of the health and safety of the people who elected them to office and the RESULT is that we have extended the life of the CRISIS.
We continue to see a massive spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the new year. With that spread comes the distinct possibility of having to implement another lock down and causing further major economic damage to our businesses and year-round residents. The onus of this emergent situation is all on the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the Dare County Control Group and the mayors of each individual town. With each isolation or hospitalization of a visitor or resident due to COVID-19, every board member, every mayor and every member of the Control Group bears responsibility and culpability.
Many residents, NRPOs and tourists have taken the tack that the virus is not a threat or that complying with the masking mandate is an affront to their personal, individual rights. These people are putting the majority of the population at greater risk and there should be meaningful consequences for their self-serving, ignorant and in some cases, politically-fueled actions.
We understand that we all are in uncharted waters yet there are protocols to follow.
Instead of the health department policing restaurants and other businesses for masking and physical distancing violations; instead of protecting us, they’re asleep at the wheel of a heavily populated bus careening off a cliff.
The actions of the Board of Commissioners, the Dare County Control Board and the mayors of each individual town will have dire consequences on the Outer Banks. Each of you will pay a price for your negligence and incompetence, because the number of positive cases continue to grow and you do nothing.
We chose you to represent us. This pandemic has put us all in a life or death situation. We never expected you to have all the answers. But we never expected you to so visibly fail your constituents and valued tourists and visitors.
- We demand the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services police restaurants and other businesses for masking and physical distancing violations and apply meaningful consequences to those that don't or won't comply.
- We demand reasonable, consistent and enforceable regulations for all entities that will do business in our county and towns.
We demand reasonable, consistent and enforceable regulations for all entities and visitors that will visit our county and towns.
- We demand enforceable regulations requiring the wearing of masks when in public, at all times.
We demand enforceable regulations mandating the wearing of masks when in retail outlets of all types, by employees and patrons.
- We demand enforceable regulations mandating physical distancing in retail outlets at all times.
- We demand enforceable regulations requiring businesses to strictly adhere to the State of North Carolina’s capacity limits in restaurants and retail outlets at all times.
- We demand local businesses to be successful without putting the health and safety of the public in jeopardy.
- We demand enforceable regulations that require all businesses to exhibit traits consistent with good citizenship by clearly posting rules and regulations for their patrons.
- We demand any and all victims of COVID-19 to be compelled, by law, to submit to contact tracing requirements. We want consistent, detailed, accurate and real-time data on all aspects of any positive tests of residents and visitors.
- We demand Dare County to make available, to all incoming visitors, what the regulations are and what the expectations the county and it’s residents have, of said visitors. In advance, if possible.
If necessary, we demand the Dare County Control Board issue "lock down" orders and limit access to the county as a measure to protect residents and visitors.
In closing, the local citizenry has the right to demand better leadership by our elected representatives at the state and local levels. We have not seen evidence of that. Sadly, it seems our leaders are in hiding during an emergency. Bob Woodard, the Chair of the Board of Commissioners bragged that they "meet weekly". It should be noted they are "virtual meetings".
They KNOW the danger to themselves and others.
That is why we have taken this action. We expect leadership that puts the health and safety of it’s citizens above purely economic considerations. We demand the Dare County Board of Commissioners, the Dare County Control Board, The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services and the mayors of each individual town be accountable to their constituents for their actions. We have seen little or no evidence that they care what we, the people, NEED, which is protection from this scourge.
*Note: The Outer Banks is not only a regional and national vacation destination, we have international reach. When you share the petition, let potential signers know that they don't have to live here to be able to sign. If they visit, have visited or are even thinking about visiting, their signature carries the weight of the tourist dollar and that is paramount to those in power.