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Increase In Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases In Carteret County NC. Tourism Or Testing?

An increase in the number of Covid-19 Coronavirus cases in Carteret County NC is becoming very concerning to many residents, business owners, health department officials, and leaders of municipalities in the local area. This article is written to gauge public perception on whether the increasing number of cases of the Coronavirus is related to tourism or more testing being done. Or, could it be both?

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The next COVID-19 drive-thru testing event is scheduled for Monday, October 26th from 10am to 2pm at Eastern Park in Smyrna. To preregister for your appointment, call 910-267-2044.

October 19: Report of the 12th death locally.

October 14: New record reached of 45 new cases in one 24 hour period, with one death for a total of 11. This makes the 2nd straight week that a significant large amount cases are being reported. Additionally, our county saw no deaths for months, but as of today there have been 6 in 2.5 weeks.

October 12: 87 news cases reported today which is an increase in 87 since last Friday (Today is Monday). However, per officials, the large number of new cases is allegedly from a Carteret County healthcare faciliy not reporting cases to the State of NC going back to July 2020. Immediate reporting of new cases is state law. An investigation is clearly underway.

October 7: Today tied the record for the largest single day increase in new cases within the county. The current record is 22 set on September 25, and 22 cases were reported today.

October 5: A significant increase in deaths associated with COVID-19 in the county as local officials announced the 9th death today. This makes 3 deaths in the past 6 days.

October 2: County officials announced the 8th death related to this virus and is the 2nd reported death in the past week.

September 25: This date overtakes the single largest day of increased cases since September 3rd when there was 20 cases. Today’s reported cases showed an increase of 22 cases overnight.

September 21: School officials announced the 20th confirmed case at area schools.

September 10: School officials announced 4 new cases at local schools those being White Oak Elementary and Bogue Sound Elementary.

September 3: Local government noted 20 new cases and this being the largest one day increase OUTSIDE of congregate living outbreaks.

September 3: Carteret Community College announces that one individual from the campus community tested positive but that the college will stay open for classes.

September 2: Lidl grocery store closed for 24 hours after an employee tested positive. On this date, there was a increase to 12 cases county wide in just one 24 hour period.

August 31: Carteret County Schools announced 2 individuals at Bogue Sound Elementary School and 1 individual at Croatan High School tested positive.

August 2020: The local health department announced another round of mass testing for September 9th and 30th. On September 9th, the location will be at Croatan High School from 9 am till 1 pm. On September 30th, the location will be at East Carteret High School from 9 am till 1 pm. To register, please call 910-267-2044.

July 23, 2020

The N.C. Department of Public Safety announced that 30 inmates from the Carteret Correctional Center (Newport Prison) tested positive for the Coronavirus. Then, one day later they announced that an additional 20 inmates tested positive and on the 27th announced an additional 21 cases at the correctional center for a total of 71.

Independence Day – July 4, 2020 Weekend

With an increase in testing availability in place, it’s likely that the July 4th 2020 weekend will be a better indicator of whether social distancing and mask working, or if tourism as a whole is causing a greater increase in the number of new cases and hospitalizations.

June 24, 2020: Based on rising and increasing COVID-19 cases across the country and in counties across NC, the NC Governor today maintained the state at Phase 2, mandated mask wearing for citizens where social distancing in not available, and mandated mask wearing for several industries. The Governor’s executive order will stay in place until July 17, 2020.

After it was announced that the United States had it’s first confirmed cases, North Carolina did not see it’s first official case until almost 3 weeks later, and those were directly related to travel outside of the Unites States and to areas where there were significant outbreaks. During the early days of the pandemic in the United States, Carteret County saw reporting of one case every few days. As of June, 2020, we are now seeing on average of 3 new cases every day but no increase in deaths related to Covid-19.

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In monitoring social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, many local residents, officials, and those that visit area beaches and tourism attractions are either blaming an increase in testing, the busy summer tourism season, or both.

It is also important to note that the ability to test everyone in the county came very close to Memorial Day which begins the busy visitor tourism season.

It should also be noted that areas within North Carolina that not considered tourism areas are seeing an considerable increase in the number of cases which leads an untrained eye to believing that either researchers and health experts not fully understanding this virus, or people are not consistently maintaining social distancing, washing their hands very frequently, or using mask when in public.


Do you believe that the recent increase in the number of confirmed and positive cases is related to increased testing or related to more people being in Carteret County during the summer months? Or again, is it possible that it is both?

Do you feel like researchers and health experts are still learning more information about Covid-19 and we have yet to fully understand it’s virulence or transmission vectors?

Do you think that the Governor of NC re-opened areas of business interest too soon?

What do you think caused the initial “flattening of the curve” that we saw in early May? Or, has there always been a larger number of infected people and we just did not know because of testing limitations?

Do you believe that if the current trend continues, we will see the Governor take us back to a state where businesses and schools are fully closed? And, possibly legally mandated masking and social distancing.

What are some concerns you have related to the increase that we did not discuss in this article?

If you are a licensed health care professional who reads this article and you want to comment using verification, then please contact us. Otherwise, please consider information in this article as non-official information and commentary.

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

One thought on “Increase In Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases In Carteret County NC. Tourism Or Testing?

  • June 25, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I think the rise in the number of cases and the death rate staying the same is a result of the ability for healthcare workers to test anyone and everyone and we are now realizing that a lot of people had the virus and either had such minimal symptoms that it went unnoticed and were completely asymptomatic.

    Now if the death rate starts to rise, then we are looking at something completely different.


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