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One dozen new COVID-19 cases Monday in Rowan County; New affidavits filed in suit against Citadel

By Natalie Anderson and Carl Blankenship
news@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Health Department reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday as personal protective equipment begins making its way from the state to congregate care facilities.

The county reported the state has started distributing supply packs to long-term care facilities with a 14-day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves and shoe covers. The facilities receiving the supply packs include nursing homes, adult care homes, family homes, intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual disabilities and mental health facilities.

Supplies for Rowan County will be available on Friday with a pick-up location in Charlotte. County spokesperson TJ Brown said the county will be receiving additional information regarding the supply pick-up this week.

On Monday, the county reported that 237 individuals are currently positive of the total 535. The active case number represents a decrease of three since Sunday when it was 240. The total number of cases on Sunday was 523.

Of the 535 total cases, 271 patients have recovered and 27 have died. A total of 190 people at congregate living facilities have tested positive.

Of the 27 deaths, 19 have been at the Citadel of Salisbury, seven at the N.C. State Veterans Home and one individual wasn’t associated with a congregate living facility.

On Monday the law firm Wallace and Graham, which is suing the Citadel and its parent companies in relation to the outbreak there, filed five new sworn affidavits to supplement the 14 included its original suit. The new affidavits contain additional accounts of attempts to cover up cases of COVID-19 at the facility, lack of communication and availability of protective equipment in the early days of the outbreak.

One licensed practical nurse who worked at the facility until April 9 said corporate officials would not allow employees to swab for COVID-19, though they were swabbing for flu and pneumonia.

A certified nursing assistant claimed overhearing a conversation in mid-March between a doctor at the facility and the facility administrator in which the doctor said a patient should be tested for COVID-19, but the administrator said corporate did not want anyone to be tested.

At least 3,035 tests have been reported to the county and nine individuals are currently being hospitalized.

Statewide, 19,023 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 after 255,755 completed tests. A total of 661 individuals have died and 511 are currently being hospitalized.

In other COVID-19 statistics:

  • Individuals age 65 and older make up the plurality of cases, at 165, and the 51-64 age group has now reached 101 cases. However, ages 36-50 and 18-35 continue to climb — at 124 and 125 cases, respectively. A total of 20 cases are among children younger than 18 years old.
  • Of the positive cases, 325 individuals are white, 123 are black or African American, three are Asian, one is American Indian/Alaskan Native, 111 are Hispanic, 58 are unknown and 25 are other.
  • Females still make up the majority of positive cases, at 288, while males represent 247 positive cases.
  • Zip code 28147, which is where the Citadel nursing home is located, remains the area of the county with the most positive cases, at 238. Next is 28144, a Salisbury zip code, with 139 cases. Zip code 28146, which includes part of Salisbury and a large swath of eastern Rowan, currently has 63 positive cases.

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