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One additional death in county; two nursing home outbreaks considered over

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — One additional person not associated with a congregate living facility in the county has died of COVID-19 according to the county’s Tuesday COVID-19 update.

That brings the total number of deaths to 44, with 21 from the Citadel, 15 from the N.C. State Veterans Home, one at Liberty Commons and seven not associated with a congregate care facility.

Additionally, county spokesperson TJ Brown confirmed that the Citadel outbreak and the Liberty Commons outbreaks are considered over and were sent to the state on Monday to be closed.

An outbreak is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission within the facility, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the first date of specimen collection from the most recent asymptomatic person, whichever is later.

COVID-19 data show a continued trend of double-digit increases in total positive cases after an additional 19 confirmed cases were reported on Tuesday. Of those, 324 are currently positive. Recoveries made a jump of 17 on Tuesday and are now at 1,019.

Currently, 23 people are being hospitalized as a total of 101 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic came to Rowan County. The average age of all hospitalizations is 63.

The number of total positive cases at congregate care facilities since the start of the pandemic remains at 228. A total of 7,634 tests have been reported to the county.

Statewide, a total of 75,875 cases have been confirmed after 1.07 million completed tests. A total of 389 people are being hospitalized across the state, and 1,420 people have died.

Each Monday, the state releases the total number of patients presumed to be recovered across the state. Currently, that number is at 55,318.

On Tuesday, state health officials issued a Statewide Standing Order to decrease barriers to COVID-19 testing across the state. The order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a lab for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order. Additionally, the order authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from labs.

State health officials have also launched the “Community testing in High-priority and Marginalized Populations,” or CHAMP, initiative to increase access to no-cost testing for Black, Hispanic and American Indian communities who currently have limited testing sites. Officials plan to launch as many as 300 temporary testing sites across the state throughout July, which will include drive-thru and walk-up sites.

In Rowan County, Hispanic residents have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. A total of 457 Hispanic residents have tested positive, which comprises 32.95% of all cases in the county. A total of 850 cases have been among white residents, along with 192 Black residents, five Asian residents, four American Indian/Alaskan Native residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander resident. Additionally, 140 cases are considered “unknown,” and 195 are labeled “other.”

The average age of positive cases is 43.5, with adults between the age of 18 and 35 comprising the most cases, at 428. Those aged 36-50 make up 343 cases, along with 232 people aged 51-64 and 254 cases among adults older than 65. Cases among children are at 130.

A total of 677 women have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 710 men.

Zip code 28147 remains the area of the county with the most cases at 480, followed by 28144 with 309 cases and 28146 with 197 cases.

Of the 104 beds available for COVID-19 patients, only 10 are currently being used. Additionally, none of the 73 available ventilators are currently being used for patients in the county.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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