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Five new deaths recorded at veterans home

SALISBURY — For the first time in nearly two weeks, the number of COVID-19-related deaths has increased — this time by five, to 32 individuals — according to data provided by the Rowan County Public Health Department.

Since May 15, the number of COVID-19 deaths had remained at 27 people. And while that number had stabilized, Tuesday’s jump was the largest in COVID-19 deaths since the outbreak started here. The five deaths reported Tuesday were from the N.C. State Veteran’s Home, said county spokesman T.J. Brown. No further details were provided.

The State Veteran’s Home is located on the campus of the W.G. “Bill” Hefner VA Medical Center and has reported a total of 12 deaths. It was the site of the county’s first COVID-19 death. While the Citadel represents the largest local outbreak at a congregate living facility, with 146 cases among people classified as Rowan County residents and 157 total cases, the N.C. Veterans Home outbreak now has the highest case fatality rate in Rowan County, with the 12 deaths occurring among 42 total cases.

There are 19 deaths at the Citadel of Salisbury. One is not from a congregate living facility such as a nursing home. The average age of those deceased is 84 years.

Out of the 3,370 total COVID-19 tests reported and 608 total cases, there are 242 are active cases. On Tuesday, the health department reported 10 people were hospitalized and 334 people had recovered. Officials are following up with 232 people.

State data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services shows 24,140 positive cases from 352,331 completed tests and 621 people currently hospitalized. There have been 766 deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19.
In other local data:
• Of the positive cases, 48.52% are male, 295 cases, while the majority, 313 cases or 51.48%, are female.
• Of the positive cases, 363 are white, 126 are African-American, 84 individuals are unknown, 31 people were listed as other, three people were listed as Asian and one American Indian/Alaskan Native.

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