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Amid weeks-long trend of double-digit positives, active cases decrease in Rowan County

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — An additional 38 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the county on Thursday, continuing a weeks-long trend of double-digit increases, but the local outlook is trending in the right direction as recoveries are coming faster.

Recoveries grew by 70 Thursday and more than two dozen cases are no longer considered currently positive. So, while a total of 1,640 people have tested positive for COVID-19, 257 of those considered currently positive. Active cases also decreased from Tuesday to Wednesday. A total of 1,338 people have recovered.

Hospitalizations also decreased by one on Thursday and are currently at 10. A total of 108 people in the county have been hospitalized for COVID-19, with an average age of 63. Deaths from COVID-19 remain at 45, with all but eight from congregate care facilities. Additionally, the total number of cases at congregate care facilities remains at 231.

Statewide, 93,246 people have tested positive after 1.31 million completed tests. A total of 1,134 people are currently being hospitalized, and 1,588 people have died.

The statewide rate of positive cases from tests rose to 9% on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state has launched new online tools that help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians to determine if they may need a test, how to get a test and how to monitor their own symptoms if advised to do so. The website can be found by clicking here, or visiting ncdhhs-covid19-dtra.powerappsportals.us/es-ES/.

“Reliable information is a powerful tool to fight COVID-19. This Spanish language symptom checker will help people identify symptoms and then connect them with resources to know where to get tested,” Cooper said in a statement. “All of this is important to slowing the spread of the disease.”

North Carolina’s Hispanic population is being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As of mid-July, the Hispanic population represents 44% of cases where ethnicity is known, although they comprise 9% of the state’s population.

In a statement, state officials noted that many in the Hispanic community work in essential industries that North Carolina relies upon, such as construction, child care and food processing. Often, this work is in environments where social distancing can be challenging, health insurance is not provided and for a sick person, staying home could create a significant financial burden.

“I am very concerned about the health of our Latinx/Hispanic community who have been hit hard by the pandemic,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. “This new tool is one way that we can help our Spanish-speaking community members protect themselves and their families.”

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Hispanic residents of Rowan County. Despite making up about 9% of the county’s population, they account for 30.79% of all positive cases, at 505.

A total of 930 white residents have tested positive for COVID-19 along with 210 Black residents, five American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, five Asian residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. A total of 267 are considered unknown and 222 are considered “other.”

The average age among cases continues to drop and is now at 42.4, with most cases among those aged 18-35 — 516. Those aged 36-50 comprise 408 cases, while there are 283 cases among the 51-64 age group, 269 among those older than 65, and 164 for children younger than 18.

Men comprise the majority of cases at 826, while 814 cases have been among women.

Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases, at 547. Zip code 28144 has had 362 cases, and 28146 has had 239 cases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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