Rowan’s COVID-19 deaths continue to grow outside of nursing homes

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2020

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — One local resident not associated with a congregate care facility has died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 47, according to the Rowan County Health Department.

Of those deaths, 21 have been from the Citadel, 15 from the N.C. State Veterans Home, one from Liberty Commons and 10 not associated with a congregate care facility. Three of the 10 not associated with a congregate living facility such as a nursing home have died in the previous two weeks. The average age among those deceased is 81.

The report of an additional death came Wednesday as the county reported 40 additional cases. With recoveries on the rise, though, the number of currently positive cases decreased to 283 — a decline of 21 from the previous day. The number of recoveries continues to rise and is currently at 1,464.

A total of 10,020 tests have been reported to the county. Despite a testing surge across the nation, prolonging the period of time it takes to report tests, Rowan County spokesperson TJ Brown said county health officials haven’t seen any significant change in reporting times for tests here. The average time period still ranges between two to five days, he said, depending on whether tests are submitted to a state lab or an independent lab.

He added that while Mako Medical, based in Raleigh, is primarily used at testing sites throughout the county, state labs may be used when testing nursing homes. Where the tests are submitted depends on the supply availability and what entity is doing the testing at each site.

Cases among congregate care facilities remains at 231. A total of 10 people are being hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county, and 113 have been hospitalized in total.

Statewide, a total of 105,001 cases have been confirmed after 1.5 million tests, for a statewide rate of 8% for positive tests. A total of 1,137 people are being hospitalized across the state, and 1,698 people have died.

Currently, 78,707 patients throughout the state are presumed to be recovered.

The CDC is now recommending a symptom-based approach to determining when people are no longer considered infectious and can end isolation, rather than a test-based approach previously used. Data show people with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptoms begin.

The CDC states someone can end self-isolation if it has been at least 10 days since symptoms began, at least 24 hours since one last had fever without using fever-reducing medications, and if symptoms have improved.

The local COVID-19 outbreak continues to disproportionately impact Hispanic residents of Rowan County. A total of 527 Hispanic residents have tested positive, which makes up 29.38% of all cases. A total of 973 white residents have tested positive, along with 223 Black residents, five American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, five Asian residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Additionally, 349 cases are categorized as “unknown” and 238 are considered “other.”

The average age of positive cases is 42.1, with most cases among those aged 18-35, at 572. Residents aged 36-50 comprise 450 cases, along with 307 cases among those aged 51-64 and 283 for those older than 65. A total of 183 children have tested positive in the county.

Men comprise a majority of the cases at 899, but not by much. Cases among women are at 895.

Zip code 28147 continues to be the area with the most positive cases as it’s currently at 577. Zip code 28144 makes up 399 cases, followed by 28146 at 264 cases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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