UPDATED: One more death, cases climb to 522 as new testing information released

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 16, 2020

SALISBURY — The county’s COVID-19 death count increased by a total of one Friday as seven testing options were announced for the general public.

Rowan County is now reporting COVID-19 27 deaths, an increase of one from a day earlier. Of the deaths, 19 have been due to the outbreak at the Citadel and seven have been at the N.C. State Veterans home. One hasn’t been associated with a congregate living facility. Total positive cases also increased Friday, by 11, to 521.

There are 239 who are still positive and 49 hospitalizations over the course of the outbreak. There were just eight people hospitalized on Friday and Saturday. The average age of hospitalized patients was 66, and the average age of those tested was 52.3.

State and county numbers differ about the four congregate living outbreaks locally, in part, because the local health department only tracks Rowan residents. The state reports that 157 people have tested positive at the Citadel, on Julian Road, with 44 being staff members and 113 being residents. County spokesman T.J. Brown said only 34 of the employees and 112 residents belong to Rowan County.

The county’s and state’s numbers also differ on the number of positive cases at the N.C. State Veterans Home, on the campus of the Salisbury VA. While the state is reporting six staff members and 21 veterans at the veterans home, the county reports five employees and 24 veterans.

Currently, four employees and five residents have tested positive at Liberty Commons, 4412. S. Main St.

Additionally, state data indicates one positive employee and one positive resident at the Laurels, 215 Lash Drive, but Brown said the county is only familiar with one positive resident there.

For the first time since the outbreak started the Rowan County Health Department publicly released a list of places where people can be tested for COVID-19. Previously, people had been encouraged to contact a doctor or call the county’s COVID-19 help line — 980-432-1800.

The state also updated its guidance on who should be tested, which now includes: anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19: close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms; people who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings; people who are at high risk of severe illness; people who come from historically marginalized populations; health care workers or first responders; and frontline and essential workers in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Community members can be tested for COVID-19 at these locations:

• Novant Health: Located at 1904 Jake Alexander Blvd in Salisbury. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Novant GoHealth locations are also able to test.

• Promed: Located at 812 W Innes St. in Salisbury. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m.

• W. G. “Bill” Hefner VA Medical Center: Located at 1601 Brenner Ave. in Salisbury. Will test Veterans

Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Center (CRCHC) mobile testing. (Appointments and walk-ins accepted; anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested, testing is FREE, and results are ready in 24 hours.)

• Food Lion parking lot in Spencer, located at 313 Salisbury Ave. There are three testing days: Wednesday, May 27, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, June 3, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday, June 17 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rowan Helping Ministries, located at 226 N Long St. in Salisbury. There are three testing days: Monday, May 18, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, June 15, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, June 29, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• Rowan County Health Department, located at 1811 East Innes St. There will be two testing days: Friday, June 5, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, June 19, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In other COVID-19 statistics:

• Across the state, there are 17,982 cases, 652 deaths, 238,586 tests and 481 people who were hospitalized on Saturday.

• Nearly 61.69% of cases in Rowan County have been reported in white patients, 23.37% in black or African American patients, less than 1% of cases in American Indians and Alaskan natives, 4.79% in other races and 9.39% in unknown races. Of ethnicities, 20.88% of positive cases have been in Hispanics.

• More females, 54.02%, have tested positive than males in Rowan County. The largest number positive cases by area have been reported in the vicinity of the Citadel nursing home at 232. There have been 282 cases total in Salisbury.

• The largest local increase in positive cases is still April 13, when the number jumped by 90 and nearly doubled at the time.