Cases top 1,000 after week of double-digit increases

Published 1:04 pm Saturday, June 20, 2020

SALISBURY — Rowan County has now reached more than 1,000 positive cases following a week of double-digit increases.

The Rowan County Public Health Department reported on Sunday that 1,002 people had tested positive, an increase of more than 120 from a week ago. With 704 recovered, there are currently 258 positive cases active in the county.

Additionally, two Daimler Truck employees tested positive last week for COVID-19. A spokesman for Daimler Trucks said both employees have been out of the facility for several days and any employees with whom they had sustained contact have been directed to self-quarantine at home. They are in addition to one employee who tested positive in April. The entire facility was thoroughly disinfected Thursday night. It was scheduled to be thoroughly disinfected again this weekend.

The following are some of the steps Daimler said it has implemented since April:

• Temperature screening every arriving team member or visitor with a non-contact laser thermometer.
• Issuing appropriate personal protective equipment.
• Adding additional cleaning staff and increasing frequency, thoroughness and duration of cleaning.
• Distributing cleaning supplies for frequent wiping down of shared tools.
• Communicating all relevant CDC health recommendations to employees.

This week, Public Health Director Nina Oliver expressed concern with Rowan County having a higher rate of cases for its population than the state and said that increased testing alone is not the reason for the county’s increasing number of cases. She attributed the large number to community spread at large gatherings and said she believes the increase stemmed from people gathering together during Memorial Day weekend.

Double-digit increases have been a regular occurrence lately, with the second-largest increase in cases happening last week and the spread of COVID-19 slowing down inside of nursing homes, according to Rowan County Health Department data.

As of Sunday, there had been 5,535 COVID-19 tests conducted; that’s a number which has also seen an increase as more testing sites have opened. The county remains at 40 total coronavirus-related deaths. The health department reports that 81 people have been hospitalized, with 17 currently in a hospital. The average age of hospitalized patients is 63. That’s compared to the average of positive tests being 45.6 and the average age of the dead being 83.

In its weekly update of hospital resource usage, the Rowan County Health Department said zero of the 63 ventilators available for COVID-19 patients were in use. There are 104 total COVID-19-designated hospital beds.

As of Sunday, there were 52,801 lab-confirmed cases in North Carolina after 745,775 tests. There were 845 people hospitalized and 1,220 deaths. The state’s website for COVID-19 does not provide statewide information about recoveries. Like Rowan, the state is also seeing worsening trends in COVID-19 indicators.

In other COVID-19 statistics:

  • The average age among cases is 45.6. The 18-35 age group comprises the most cases at 299, while the 36-50 age group has 250 cases, the 51-64 age group has 159 cases, those above 65 are at 217 cases and children comprise 77 cases.
  • Of the 1,002 cases, 533 have been among white individuals, 149 among Black individuals, 268 Hispanic individuals, three Asian individuals, one native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 223 are unknown and 92 are other.
  • A total of 479 women have tested positive along with 523 men.
  • Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases at 400. Zip code 28144 has 242 cases and 28146 has 111.