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45th person dies of COVID-19; recoveries rise by more than 50

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Another person not associated with a congregate care facility has died in the county, bringing the total amount of deaths to 45.

That death brings the total to eight deaths not associated with local nursing homes, which have been hard hit by the outbreak. Nursing home deaths include 21 from the Citadel, where an outbreak was declared over on Tuesday; 15 from N.C. State Veterans Home and one from Liberty Commons.

An additional 33 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,420 total positive cases. But the number of currently positive cases — now at 299 — dropped by 25 as recoveries rose by 57.

The total number of hospitalizations decreased by seven on Tuesday. Now, 16 people are currently being hospitalized in the county.

A total of 7,818 tests have been reported to the county.

Statewide, a total of 77,310 cases have been confirmed after 1.1 million completed tests. A total of 994 people are currently being hospitalized and 1,441 have died.

State health officials have also joined the CDC and FDA to alert consumers of the adverse effects associated with methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers. The CDC has reported that seven people in New Mexico experienced serious health effects, including permanent blindness and death, due to purportedly ingesting methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers or rubs manufactured in Mexico.

Ethanol is the active ingredient primarily used in most commercially available alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs, but methanol is a toxic alcohol that can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or when swallowed. Some of the hand sanitizers to be recalled are labelled to contain ethanol, but have tested positive for methanol contamination.

Health officials encourage consumers to not ingest any alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub, check the product against the FDA’s testing and manufacturing recalls list and only use the products for their intended use. Some of the brands on the list include Blumen, Klar and Danver, Modesa, The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer, Assured Instant, bio aaa Advance, the Good Gel, LumiSkin Advance and All-Clean.

In Rowan County, Hispanic residents have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. A total of 476 Hispanic residents have tested positive, which comprises 33.52% of all cases in the county. A total of 856 cases have been among white residents along with 193 Black residents, five Asian residents, four American Indian/Alaskan Native residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander resident. Additionally, 151 cases are considered “unknown,” and 210 are labeled “other.”

The average age of positive cases is 43.2, with adults between the age of 18 and 35 comprising the plurality of cases, at 436. Those aged 36-50 make up 352 cases. There are 237 positives aged 51-64 and 256 cases among adults older than 65. Cases among those younger than 18 continue to climb and are now at 139.

A total of 693 women have tested positive for COVID-19 along with 727 men.

Zip code 28147 remains the area of the county with the most cases at 489, followed by 28144 with 316 cases and 28146 with 204 cases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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