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Recoveries rise with COVID-19 cases; state selects vendors for more testing, contact tracing

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — An additional 43 individuals in the county have recovered from COVID-19 as the number of positive cases grew to 1,024 on Monday.

The total number of cases is an increase of 22 since Sunday. But of the 1,024 total cases, 237 are currently positive, which marks a decrease of 21 since Sunday.

Last week, two employees at Daimler Trucks in Cleveland tested positive for COVID-19. A Daimer Trucks spokesperson confirmed one additional employee has tested positive, and all staff members have been notified of the positive cases. No testing has been conducted by the plant itself, but some staff may have chosen to get tested at one of the county’s numerous testing sites.

The three current cases are in addition to one positive case discovered in April.

The spokesperson added that the entire facility had been disinfected on Thursday and over the weekend.

A total of 5,666 tests have been reported in the county. A total of 83 individuals have been hospitalized, and 18 are currently being hospitalized. There are 40 dead after testing positive for COVID-19, and all but four of the individuals belonging to a congregate care facility in the county. A total of 219 individuals have tested positive at congregate care facilities.

Statewide, a total of 53,605 cases have been confirmed after 757,345 completed tests. A total of 870 are currently being hospitalized across the state and 1,223 people have died. That’s an increase of 30 hospitalizations since Sunday, but only three additional deaths.

State health officials also announced on Friday the selection of 26 businesses that will be used to form an initial pool of qualified vendors to support the state’s COVID-19 response, particularly as the state builds its testing and contact tracing infrastructure.

“Given how contagious and potentially dangerous this virus is for some, it is essential that we can surge resources where they are needed most,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen in a news release. “We now have vendors at the ready that the state can put on the ground in local hot spots to support our communities.”

The selected vendors are pre-qualified to work with the department. The first areas of work will focus on testing all residents and staff of nursing homes and significantly increasing testing for Black, Hispanic, Native American and refugee populations in zip codes that lack access to testing sites.

The department is prioritizing working with minority-owned business vendors or vendors who retain a diverse workforce. Of the 26 that were qualified, 14 were minority-owned, according to state officials. NCDHHS will continue to work with the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses and partners to encourage prioritized vendors to apply.

This is a rolling qualification process and vendors will be able to submit a response by the first of every month through December. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) deadline for response is July 1. In addition, the department anticipates issuing future RFQs for other functions beyond testing, lab capacity and contact tracing.

Qualified vendors for testing and laboratory reserve capacity include:

  • CW Williams Community Health Care Center
  • EGL Genetic Diagnostics
  • Laboratory Corporation of America Holding
  • Omnicare a CVS Health Company
  • Orig3n, Inc
  • United Providers of Health LLC
  • University Health System of East Carolina

Qualified vendors for contact tracing include:

  • 22nd Century Technologies
  • Arbor/Res-care
  • Atrium Staffing
  • Automated Health Systems
  • BizTechPeople LLC
  • CW Williams Community Health Care Center
  • Global Contact Services
  • Grace Federal Solutions LLC
  • Intellect Resources
  • K4 Solutions Inc
  • Keystone Peer Review
  • Maximus Health Services
  • Medical Edge Recruitment LLC
  • PRC
  • Public Consulting Group Inc
  • ResponsePoint
  • SouthEastern Healthcare of NC
  • Spanish Speaking LLC
  • SWC Group LLP dba Healthcare Solutions
  • WellSky

To support vendors in the next round of the application process, NCDHHS is hosting a webinar on June 26 from 3-4 p.m. Vendors may register at attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5812452079685894415.

The average age of positive cases in Rowan County has continued to drop and is now at 45.3. Individuals aged 18-35 comprise the plurality of cases at 304. Individuals aged 36-50 comprise 254 cases, while those aged 51-64 are at 163 cases and those aged 65 and older are at 219 cases. A total of 84 cases are among children in the county.

Of the 1,024 cases, 538 have been among white individuals, 150 among Black individuals, 269 Hispanic individuals, three Asian individuals, one native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 239 are unknown and 92 are other.

A total of 491 women have tested positive along with 533 men.

Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases at 405. Zip code 28144 has 245 cases and 28146 has 116.

County officials on Monday provided tips from Dr. Alicia Brooks of Novant Health for locals to continue helping control the spread. Those tips include masking up, keeping a safe distance, staying home if sick, avoid touching magazines in waiting areas or items at the grocery store, limiting travel and being kind to others.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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