Entry restricted to mainland Hyde County

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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HYDE COUNTY — At the recommendation of Hyde County Health Director Luana Gibbs, visits to mainland Hyde County have been prohibited until further notice, according to Hyde County Public Information Officer Donnie Shumate.

“At the moment, it is not being enforced,” Shumate said. “There’s no checkpoints or anything like that. If we see that it looks like people are not heeding the order, the (Hyde County Sheriff’s Office) is going to set up checkpoints.”

While Hyde County hasn’t set up any roadblocks yet, Shumate says it has happened before, during Hurricane Isabelle. With four major, non-ferry entry points into Hyde County along U.S. Highway 246, N.C. Highway 94 and N.C. Highway 45, checkpoints could be staffed 24/7, according to Shumate.

A press release from Hyde County Government says that residents of Beaufort, Dare, Tyrrell and Washington counties may still access the county, but only for activities covered under Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order.

“We have a small mom and pop grocery, so they shouldn’t be coming for that,” Shumate said. “They should be coming here for work or returning to their place of business. Going to a doctor’s appointment, we don’t have any of those except the health department. Really, if they’re not coming here for work or to their home, there shouldn’t be any reason for them to come here. … As long as they have legitimate business in the county, they shouldn’t have any issues.”

While Hyde County health officials reported the county’s first case of COVID-19 on March 21, it was quickly determined that the person was actually isolated in another county, and had listed Hyde as their county of residence. As of Wednesday, Shumate said there were no confirmed cases in the county.

In addition to the new visitor restrictions for mainland Hyde, the county has also put restrictions in place for access to Ocracoke. Non-resident property owners and workers can only access the island if working on critical repairs that require a building permit from the county.

The order does not affect permanent residents or anyone previously allowed entry without requiring a temporary permit. One can apply for a temporary permit online at www.hydecountync.gov/ocracoke-covid. Vendors, delivery personnel and service providers of critical infrastructure are also permitted and do not need a temporary permit.

A full list of reentry requirements, and other information from Hyde County Government, can be found via a link on the online version of this story.