Two staff members test positive at assisted living facility on Mooresville Road

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Two employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Elmcroft of Salisbury, an assisted living community on Mooresville Road. 

The facility is the fifth active outbreak — two or more people — according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. County spokesman TJ Brown said all staff and residents were tested after the Health Department learned about the outbreak, but those results have not returned yet. 

A request for comment sent to Oregon-based Elmcroft Senior Living about the outbreak was not returned by press time Tuesday evening.

The cases at Elmcroft of Salisbury join 1,038 total cases and 233 active ones in Rowan County, according to Tuesday’s case update by the Rowan County Health Department. A total of 765 people have recovered after testing positive and 40 have died. On Tuesday, 18 people were hospitalized. There have been at least 5,773 tests conducted in Rowan County.

While Tuesday’s numbers represent a 14-person increase in total cases, the number of active cases decreased by four because of a bump in recoveries. The total case number continues to rise by double digits on a regular basis, but the number of active cases is down substantially from one week ago when there were 357. There also has not been a death from COVID-19 reported in Rowan County since June 11.

Brown said the increasing total number of cases is due to the virus spreading throughout the community in addition to expanded testing. 

“We obviously expected, as we’re doing more testing, that we’re going to find more people who are positive, but I don’t think that’s the only reason why we’re seeing increases,” he said.

The average age of cases has also decreased steadily and now stands at 45.3 years. That’s a result of younger age brackets are adding cases at a quicker pace than older ones. Brown said that trend could be a reason that there hasn’t been a COVID-19 death reported in nearly two weeks. 

“I think the people who have multiple medical conditions or are at higher risk are taking precautions,” Brown said. “A lot of the people that have passed had other conditions that weakened their body. So I think that’s why we’re seeing more young people come back positive but their bodies are able to fight through.” 

In other local COVID-19 statistics:

• Age group 18-35 represents a plurality of local cases, with 307. Cases among other age groups are as follows: Younger than 18, 84 cases; 36 to 50, 260 cases; 51 to 64, 167 cases; Older than 65, 220 cases.

• Hispanic Rowan Countians continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and comprise 35.36% of cases. Racial statistics are as follows: White, 62.04% of cases; Black, 15.03% of cases; other, 12.81% of cases; unknown, 9.44% of cases; Asian, 0.39%; and, together, American Indian as well as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander make up less than half of a percentage point. 

• Men are 51.93% of cases and women are 48.07% of cases.

• The Salisbury zip code 28147 has the most cases, with 408, but its also the location of the largest nursing home outbreak in the county, the Citadel. Next is 28144, with 248 cases, and 28146, with 118 cases. 

On Tuesday, the number of cases statewide was 54,453, an increase of 848 from one day earlier. The state says 36,921 patients are presumed to be recovered, 915 currently hospitalized and 1,251 dead. With those numbers, there are more than 16,000 cases still active in the state. A total of 773,828 tests have been completed.