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County sees jump in COVID-19 cases; state has highest rate of new infections since start of pandemic

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — County officials reported Friday an increase of 25 individuals testing positive for COVID-19, along with the 15 additional currently positive cases, following state officials’ announcement that Friday had the biggest jump in new cases in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic.

A total of 855 individuals have tested positive in Rowan County, with 324 of those currently positive. A total of 4,525 tests were reported on Friday, which is an increase of 172 tests reported since Thursday.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced during a press briefing on Friday that the increase of 1,768 new cases was the highest jump for the state yet, noting that the increase in cases and hospitalizations is concerning. Friday also marked the highest rate of tests reported at more than 21,000. But Cooper added that the high number of cases is not just related to more testing as “these numbers show the disease is spreading.”

Statewide, a total of 41,249 cases have been confirmed after 595,697 confirmed tests. A total of 1,092 individuals have died, and 760 are currently being hospitalized across the state.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said the surge in cases indicates the state is in its first wave, or peak. She encouraged citizens to continue following the three W’s — wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

“We’ll continue to use caution in easing restrictions, keeping people’s health foremost while also strengthening the state’s economy,” Cooper said during the press briefing. “Easing restrictions gradually has kept the disease from overwhelming our hospitals, and we must keep that as a priority in our decision making.”

Recoveries in Rowan County grew by 10 on Friday and are now at 491. A total of 16 continue to be hospitalized.

Of the 855 total cases in the county, there have been 40 deaths, with 21 from the Citadel, 15 from the N.C. State Veterans Home and four not associated with a congregate care facility. The average age for the deaths is 83.

The total congregate care cases is 217.

The average age of positive individuals in Rowan County continues to drop and is now at 47.1. Additionally, the number of cases among children rose by four Friday and is now at 56. Individuals age 18-35 comprise the plurality of cases at 244. Those between 36-50 have surpassed elderly individuals, and now have 208 cases compared to 203 cases among individuals 65 and older. The 51-64 age group has 144 cases.

A total of 490 white individuals have tested positive, along with 139 black individuals, three Asian individuals, 241 Hispanic individuals, one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander individual, 147 unknown and 74 classified as other.

A total of 414 females and 441 males have tested positive for COVID-19.

Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases, now at 365. It’s also where the Citadel, the largest local outbreak at a congregate living facility, is located. Zip code 28144 has 210 cases and zip code 28146 has 89 cases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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