A Message to Seaside Vacations Guests on COVID-19 Preparedness
A Note from Seaside Vacations: Please review the following information regarding access for visitors. Checkpoints have been established at entry points to Dare County and visitors will not be allowed in. Currently, there is no indication when restrictions will be lifted.
We will continue to update this page with any changes or additional bulletins from Dare County so please check back frequently.
Information for Seaside Vacations Guests on COVID-19
What should I do if I am supposed to arrive in the next 7 days?
Dare County is currently restricting all visitors and no anticipated date for lifting that restriction has been announced. We are evaluating the situation on a rolling 2 week basis and will reach out within 2 weeks of your scheduled arrival date if we anticipate your reservation will be affected. Things are changing frequently, but at this time we do not anticipate Summer or Fall stays being affected.
How Will Seaside Vacations Minimize the Risk of Guests Getting Sick?
Although visitors are currently not allowed on the Outer Banks, we want to give our future guests a peace of mind that you are renting from a company who has taken the necessary precautions to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 or any other illness in the future. Here are the changes we are making in our office and rental homes:
- All staff members in the field have been provided with masks and gloves.
- All other staff members are encouraged to work remote.
- Housekeepers will now employ a 3-step disinfecting process when cleaning rental homes:
- All homes will be sanitized with 1) BNC-15—a chemical disinfectant by Spartan Chemical that kills Coronavirus (per the American Chemistry Council), 2) our regular bacteria-destroying cleaning products, and 3) re-sanitized with Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant for extra protection—a cleaner also approved to kill the Coronavirus (per the American Chemistry Council).
- Housekeepers will pay extra attention to items that guests touch often during their visit (remote controls, entry keypads, door handles, stair railings, washer/dryer buttons, cabinet handles, etc.)
- All homeowners have been given the option to install MERV-13 air filters in their home (filters which are proven to catch a higher percentage of smaller particles in the air and are the same quality filters used in hospitals and surgery centers).
Learn more about our Housekeeping Department’s sanitation improvements from Tony Soto, Seaside Vacations Housekeeping Manager.
Learn more about MERV-13 air filters from Brennan Jones, Seaside Vacations Operations Manager.
Does Red Sky Travel Insurance Cover My Trip if Canceled?
Many travelers have been asking if their Red Sky Travel Insurance policy will cover their trip if they must cancel due to Coronavirus. As each individual’s situation is different, guests should call Red Sky’s toll-free customer service number directly to discuss any travel concerns with a coverage specialist at (866) 889-7409.
Latest COVID-19 News & Updates
Dare County Division of Public Health Announces the First Positive Test Result for COVID-19
Dare County Bulletin #15: March 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM
“The individual has been self-isolating since being tested and doing well,” according to Dr. Sheila Davies, Director of the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services. It is believed the individual acquired the virus through travel or direct contact. This is not a case of community spread.
This case will not show up as a Dare County case with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services because a Dare County address was not used when the individual was tested.
Dare County Department of Health & Human Services staff is conducting an active investigation into this individual’s activity. Anyone who is determined to have had direct contact with the individual will be contacted.
Dare County Department of Health & Human Services will not release further details about the individual to protect their privacy.
Dare County Department of Health & Human Services will continue to update our community regularly about COVID-19 in Dare County. Strong coordination between Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, Dare County Emergency Management, Outer Banks Hospital, and local healthcare providers is occurring to identify and manage any person who develops signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
General information about COVID-19 in North Carolina can be found here or call the NC COVID-19 hotline at 866.462.3821. For more information about COVID-19 in Dare County, visit darenc.com/covid19 or call 252.475.5008.
Visitor Access Restriction Continues
Dare County Bulletin #6: March 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the nation continues to grow. In North Carolina, there are 66 reported cases in 18 counties. No individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County at this time.
The Dare County COVID-19 hotline is operating from 8:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Assistance and guidance can be provided on information regarding testing, travel restrictions, symptoms, and preparation efforts. To reach the hotline, please call 252.475.5008.
The Dare County Control Group will meet again tomorrow morning for a briefing from Public Health officials. For the latest information on COVID-19 and links to reliable sources, please visit darenc.com/COVID19. The next bulletin will be issued Thursday, March 19.
Visitor Access to Dare County Restricted Beginning Tuesday, March 17th at 2:00 PM ESTDare County Bulletin #2: March 17, 2020 at 11:50 AM
In response to updated guidelines from the CDC to avoid discretionary travel and follow the The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, the Dare County Control Group has made the decision to restrict visitor access to Dare County beginning today, Tuesday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m.
While there are currently no individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, officials weighed the potential benefits for community health along with the tremendous impacts these restrictions have on our community. These restrictions may be inconvenient, disappointing and have financial impacts, however, they were made in the interest of public safety to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning at 2:00 p.m., checkpoints will be established at entry points to Dare County and no visitors will be allowed access. Permanent residents, non-resident property owners and non-resident employees of Dare County businesses may review entry guidelines at www.darenc.com/entry. Reentry permits from previous years will not be accepted. Staff is working to activate the online permitting system by 1:00 p.m.
To avoid contact with personnel, please display your permit on your dashboard so it is clearly visible for checkpoint personnel.
Visitors will not be allowed to travel through Dare County to access Currituck County (Corolla), Hyde County (Ocracoke Island), or Tyrrell County. People who reside, own property or work in Corolla or Ocracoke will be allowed entry.
Personnel working at the Emergency Operations Center are available to answer COVID-19 related questions using a dedicated phone line. Please call 252.475.5008. Personnel anticipates a high volume of calls. If you reach a voicemail, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
COVID-19 PreparednessAmid the recent development of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we understand you may be concerned about your future travel plans to the Outer Banks. Our company has been monitoring the situation closely because your health is our top priority. As such, we wanted to take this time to answer some of your questions:
What is Coronavirus?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new novel coronavirus that was first identified last year in Wuhan, China. This strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is different than other coronaviruses you may be familiar with like SARS-CoV (SARS) or MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome/MERS).
COVID-19 spreads person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Although coronaviruses have poor surface survivability, experts do agree that there is a chance of contracting the illness by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching a contaminated surface. This is why properly disinfecting surfaces and washing your hands is so important. Because of the poor surface survivability, there is a low risk of contracting COVID-19 from food products or packaged products that have been shipped from overseas. Currently, the CDC does not know if warm weather will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Although anyone could potentially contract COVID-19, there are several groups who are more at risk, including international travelers, healthcare workers, and those who have had contact with COVID-19 positive individuals. Elderly adults or people with serious medical conditions who test positive for COVID-19 are most susceptible to becoming severely ill. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and if you have any of these symptoms, you should call your primary care physician or local health department for further instructions.
COVID-19 in North Carolina
Currently, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in all 50 states. The North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services are implementing the necessary proactive measures to reduce exposure risks and Dare County officials are following these same precautions for the Outer Banks. As of 3/25/2020, there has been 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Dare County (per Dare Co. Bulletin #15).
Keeping Yourself Healthy While On Vacation
Guests can these additional steps to mitigate their risk of getting sick while enjoying the OBX in the future.
· Continuously wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content if you are unable to get to a sink.
· Never touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands.
· Sanitize surfaces throughout the week that have been touched with unwashed hands (for example: coming home from a public place and then touching the doorknob)
· When in public, avoid close contact with anyone who is sick and avoid heavily crowded areas, especially if you are more at risk.
· Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after pumping gas and touching cash/card machines.
· Regularly sanitize items that you use regularly that you may accidentally touch with unwashed hands (such as your phone, laptop keyboards, car door handles, steering wheels, etc.)
Seaside Vacations understands the importance of keeping our guests safe and hopefully, we have answered your questions about what is happening on the Outer Banks during this global pandemic. In the coming weeks, we will be carefully monitoring the situation of COVID-19 in North Carolina and will update you again if instances change. For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s: Coronavirus Disease 2019.
See you at the beach!
President/CEO Seaside Vacations