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County: Only one additional COVID-19 case after four straight double-digit jumps

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — After four consecutive days of double-digit increases in the county’s COVID-19 cases, only one more positive test was reportedSunday.

But for the third day in a row, state data on COVID-19 cases differ from Rowan County’s data. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting Rowan County has 346 positive cases and 16 deaths. The state data is updated daily by 11 a.m. while the county health department updates its data every evening.

Rowan County spokesperson TJ Brown said while the county is “putting eyes on individualized numbers to hand-crunch” the data for each case, the state uses an automated system to pull data. Therefore, Brown said, sometimes cases don’t have a phone number or address attached to the individual and may be wrongfully reported under Rowan County.

A state public information officer responded to question by saying, “as data is inputted into (the NC Electronic Disease Surveillance System) and verified, there can be a difference in county numbers and state numbers at times.”

Rowan County currently has 334 positive COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths after 2,168 tests have been conducted. A total of 16 individuals are being hospitalized and 76 have recovered.

Statewide, 8,830 individuals have tested positive for the virus after 107,894 tests have been conducted. A total of 299 individuals have died from COVID-19 across the state, and 451 are currently being hospitalized.

Liberty Commons on Saturday became the third congregate living facility in Rowan County that has become the site of a COVID-19 outbreak. An outbreak is two or more positive cases in a congregate living facility. Other outbreaks include The Citadel on Julian Road and the N.C. State Veterans Home on the campus of the W.G. “Bill” Hefner VA Medical Center.

The outbreak at Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located at 4412 S. Main St. in Salisbury, involves two staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. The employees have since been sent home, according to the Rowan County Health Department. Meanwhile, tests have been administered to all residents and are awaiting results, and Liberty Commons said it has notified all staff and residents, or their family members, of the tests.

Of the 20 total deaths, 15 have been from the Citadel nursing home, four were N.C. State Veterans Home residents and one person was not a patient at a congregate care facility.

Additionally, Saturday’s update reported that two individuals under the age of 18 have tested positive. Until recently, there had been no confirmed cases among people under the age of 18.

In other COVID-19 statistics:
  • The average age of positive cases is 57.8. Individuals aged 65 and older make up the plurality of cases, at 138. A total of 64 cases are in the 51-64 age range, 67 are aged 36-50, 63 are aged 18-35 and two are younger than 18 years old.
  • Of the positive cases, 190 individuals are white, 96 are black or African American, two are Asian, one is American Indian/Alaskan Native, 26 are white/hispanic, 16 are unknown and three are other.
  • Females still make up the majority of positive cases at 187, while males comprise 147 positive cases.
  • Zip code 28147 remains the area of the county with the most positive cases, which is where the Citadel nursing home is located.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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