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County has averaged more than 100 daily tests since mid-June

SALISBURY — As COVID-19 options have become more readily available in recent weeks, the seven-day rolling average of new tests in Rowan County is hovering in the 130s.

For six days in a row, Rowan County has notched more than 100 new tests completed, with Thursday’s total of 186 in the top 10 for daily increases in new tests. And while the number of new tests hasn’t been consistent, the seven-day rolling average of new tests since mid-June has been greater than 100. That’s also when the number of new tests reported began to increase to its current point, according to data from the Rowan County Health Department.

That testing expansion has brought with it nearly three weeks of double-digit increases in new positives. Thursday marked one of the 10-largest increases in new positives, 28. Health officials, though, say the increase in cases is not a result of expanded testing alone.

Positives are increasingly occurring among the youngest age brackets as positive cases among older ages have stagnated.

A plurality of cases — 451 — have now occurred among ages 18-35. That’s 15 cases more than Wednesday and 86 more than a week earlier. In large part because of the increase in that age bracket, the average age of positives is now 43.1.

Other age brackets are as follows

• Older than 65: 257
• 51 to 64: 241
• 36 to 50: 357
• Younger than 18: 142

On Thursday, there were 45 deaths, a number unchanged from the day prior, and 17 people hospitalized, an increase of one. A total of 1,448 people have tested positive. With 1,109 recoveries, the county reported Thursday there were 294 active cases of COVID-19 — a number that has hovered in the same range as recoveries have come in double-digits in the previous week.

Rowan County’s number of active cases has increased slower than its southern neighbor, Cabarrus, which had 458 on Thursday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services now recommends that anyone who meets the following criteria be tested:

• Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
• Close contacts of known positives.
• Groups of people with higher risk exposure or higher risk of severe illness, including those who work in high-risk settings, from historically marginalized populations, those who are older than 65, live in a nursing home or have a health condition.
• People who have attended protests, rallies or mass gatherings that could have been exposed.

Local testing sites are as follows:

• Former Rowan-Salisbury Schools Administration Building, 110 S Long St. in East Spencer (East Spencer residents only)
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15
Noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7
• Northern Rowan Family Medicine, 313 N. Salisbury Ave. in Spencer
Every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
• Novant Health Rowan, 1904 Jake Alexander Blvd. in Salisbury
Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Novant Health Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine, 530 Corporate Circle, Suite 200, in Salisbury (appointment required)
Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Rowan Helping Ministries, 226 North Long St. in Salisbury
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29
• Rowan County Health Department, 1811 East Innes St. in Salisbury
8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Wednesday
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 and and July 30
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 10, July 17 and July 24
• West End Plaza, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W in Salisbury
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays

In other COVID-19 statistics for Rowan County
• About 51% of male residents and 49% of women have tested positive.
• Salisbury and the unincorporated areas of Rowan County are far outpacing any other area for number of cases. There are now 619 cases in unincorporated areas and 573 in Salisbury. Many of those positives have since recovered.
• Hispanic Rowan Countians continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19, representing 33.01% of positives and 9.4% of the overall population.

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