Update on the Opening of the OBX Bridge for Dare & Currituck Counties
Update from the Virginia Pilot:
Part of Outer Banks to reopen Thursday to nonresident property owners, next month to visitors
Currituck County plans to reopen Corolla to nonresident property owners on Thursday and visitors on May 15.
Later today, Dare County is expected to announce a reopening date for its nonresident owners as well.
A month ago, Currituck joined Dare by setting up a checkpoint on U.S. 158 at the Wright Memorial Bridge to control spread of the coronavirus. Visitors and nonresident property owners were not allowed into the Outer Banks.
But the move was met with some opposition in the tourism-dependent region, leading the Currituck County Board of Commissioners on Monday to announce its decision.
Currituck County has reported two virus cases and both have recovered. Of the 15 Dare County cases, 14 have recovered and one person over 90 years old with other health issues has died.
As part of its announcement, Currituck County released rules for reentry.
Every car should have a permit for a nonresident property owner, said county spokesman Randall Edwards. People must comply with protocol on social distancing and limiting groups to 10 people, he said. They should bring supplies and food for two weeks. Restaurants will still have to serve take out.
Hospitals in the region have capacity, a surplus of ambulances is ready and more testing is available, Currituck County manager Ben Stikeleather said Thursday in a public video presentation. The two grocery stores in Corolla can be restocked soon, he said.
Pressure to reopen the vital tourism economy for both counties is mounting. People who own beach property for rentals want access to their property. One group of property owners sued Dare County.
But questions remain about testing for the virus at the bridge and what happens if there is an outbreak here. Many property owners come from virus hotspots in the northeast.
If there is an outbreak, Corolla could have to close again and the date to let in visitors moved back, White said. The board of commissioners plans to reevaluate its plans for visitors during its next meeting on May 4.
“We’ll have to see what happens,” White said. “We can easily shut back down if we have to.”
To get a permit, contact emergency management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, email@example.com
Kathleen relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and three children from the Philadelphia and Stone Harbor, NJ areas. One of her greatest pleasures is introducing people to the....
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Update from the Virginia Pilot: Part of Outer Banks to reopen Thursday to nonresident property owners, next month to visitorsCurrituck County plans to reopen Corolla to nonresident property