Double-digit increases keep coming as COVID-19 cases top 1,000

Published 1:49 am Monday, June 22, 2020

The month of June has brought with it some of the sharpest daily increases in COVID-19 cases, propelling the local total to more than 1,000 on Sunday, according to Rowan County Health Department data. 

The Rowan County Health Department on Sunday reported 1,002 people had tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services had a higher number, 1,019, but state numbers are sometimes higher because they may initially count people who are not Rowan County residents.

There have been 704 recoveries and 40 deaths, leaving 258 currently active cases. While Rowan County no longer finds itself in the top 10 for most cases, total cases and deaths continue to eclipse all neighboring counties. At 292, Cabarrus County had more active cases than Rowan on Sunday.

The number of tests conducted in Rowan was 5,535 on Sunday. And the rise in cases here comes as testing options have expanded, but health officials say increased testing is not the only reason for the recent increase.

In its daily update on Sunday, Rowan County said it’s important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different prevention measures to protect yourself and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the county said. 

The county says people should wear a cloth face covering and bring tissues and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content if venturing out somewhere.

Just five days in June have not produced double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases, a plurality of which have occurred among 18-35 year olds in Rowan County.

The age breakdown of cases is as follows

• Younger than 18: 77 cases

• 18-35: 299 cases

• 36-50: 250 cases

• 51-64: 159 cases

• Above 65: 217 cases

The average age of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Rowan is now 45.6.

Rowan County last week reached its highest number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 — 25. That number was 17 on Sunday. 

Since the outbreak started, there have been 81 people hospitalized, with the average age among them being 63.

There have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 since June 11, and the average age among the 40 dead is 83. Most have died after living in a congregate living facility and contracting COVID-19, including 21 at the Citadel and 15 at the N.C. State Veterans Home, but four have died outside of those facilities.

In other local COVID-19 statistics:

• A majority of cases, 53.19%, have occurred among white Rowan Countians, 14.87% are among Black residents, 22.26% are labeled unknown, 9.18% are other and less than 1% combined are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian and American Indian or Alaskan Native. 

• Hispanic Rowan Countians continue to be disproportionately affected by the outbreak and represent 26.75% of cases.

• Males are 52.20% of cases. Females are 47.8% of cases.

• A plurality of local cases are in the 28147 zip code, where Salisbury is located. It’s also where the Citadel nursing home, the largest local outbreak, sits. Next is 28144, also a Salisbury zip code, with 242 cases; 2816 with 111 cases; and 28081, in southwestern Rowan, with 58 cases.

Statewide on Sunday there were 52,801 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 845 people hospitalized, 1,220 dead and 745,775 completed tests. Like Rowan, case numbers are rising across the state, too.

State numbers for adjacent and nearby counties are as follows:

• Davie County: 156 total cases and two deaths

• Davidson County: 735 cases and 15 deaths

• Stanly County: 234 cases and 5 deaths

• Cabarrus County: 869 cases and 25 deaths

• Iredell County: 540 cases and seven deaths

• Mecklenburg County: 8,752 cases and 135 deaths

A map maintained by Cabarrus County government and using data from the Cabarrus Health Alliance had slightly different numbers than the state on Sunday — 888 cases, 30 deaths and 596 recovered.