State’s COVID-19 data for Rowan jumps ahead of local health department’s

Published 9:53 pm Sunday, April 12, 2020

SALISBURY – COVID-19 case numbers in Rowan County maintained by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services jumped ahead of local numbers over the weekend, with the health department’s official tally at 99 and the state’s spiking to 111 from the total of 86 on Friday.

State numbers represent cases among Rowan County residents, regardless of where they were tested. TJ Brown, Rowan County Emergency Services Division Chief, said the county’s afternoon or evening updates have typically resulted in an increase over state numbers, which are updated in the mornings. But that hasn’t occurred in the previous two days.

“We are going to work on figuring out why the numbers are not changing as we expected,” Brown said in an email.

While a veteran at the N.C. State Veterans Home in Salisbury died after testing positive Friday — the third death in the county — the county’s official death toll from COVID-19 still stands at two. And Brown said that was because the Health Department had not been officially notified of the person’s death. PruittHealth, which operates the veterans home, confirmed the death in statements provided to the Post and other media outlets.

Of those who have tested positive, 31 have recovered, according to the Rowan County Health Department. On Sunday, 12 people were still hospitalized. The average age of people in the county who have tested positive is 49.1, and 1,190 people have tested negative, Health officials were following up with 53 people on Sunday.

There are two confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in Rowan County nursing homes.

The state now has 4,520 confirmed cases and 81 deaths, up from 74 on Friday. There are confirmed cases of the virus in 91 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

The state’s age data is more detailed than the county’s, with 39% of confirmed cases in the state being patients aged 25-49, 29% being 50-64, 23% being 65 and older, 7% being 18-24 and only 1% being 0-17%.

State data say 80% of the deaths have been people aged 65 and older. That number drops sharply to 12% for the age 50-64 demographic and only 7% for the 25-49 demographic. Deaths from the virus have disproportionately occurred among males, which represent 70% of deaths. That’s despite 53% of positive cases occurring in females.

There are outbreaks in 28 nursing homes, seven residential care facilities and six correctional facilities in the state.