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COVID-19 deaths in Rowan most prevalent among white residents over 65

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Most deaths from COVID-19 in the county have been among white residents over the age of 65, according to demographic data provided to the Post Tuesday.

Deaths in the county remained at 48 on Tuesday, with all but 11 from local congregate care facilities. Of the 48 total deaths from COVID-19 in the county, 39 have been white and nine have been Black, according to county data. One death was from a Hispanic resident, and one’s ethnicity was unknown.

The average age among the deceased is 81, with all but six deaths among those aged 65 or older. A total of five people between the ages of 51-64 have died. Only one person has died between the ages of 36-50.

Of the 48 deaths, 29 were men and 19 were women.

In Rowan County’s daily update, an additional 20 people were reported positive for COVID-19 and the number of currently positive cases also grew by 17 — to 303. Those increases also bring the countywide total to 1,914 cases. A total of 1,563 people have recovered and 10,768 tests have been reported to the county. Hospitalizations also remained at 15.

The total number of positive cases at congregate care facilities also remains unchanged, and is at 240. The county currently has five active outbreaks at local congregate care facilities.

Statewide, a total of 116,087 cases have been confirmed after 1.66 million completed tests, for a rate of 7%. A total of 1,244 people are currently being hospitalized and 1,820 people have died.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 153, which stops the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries at 11 p.m., effective July 31. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed.

“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” Cooper said in a statement. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 p.m. or that apply to other entities remain in effect.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on Tuesday regarding the state’s data trends, saying that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.

“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up — it means it’s time to double down,” Cohen said. “The positive signs in our trends should only strengthen our resolve to keep at it with those 3 Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands often.”

The state’s syndromic surveillance trend is starting to level, along with the trajectory of lab-confirmed cases. Though cases still remain high. Cohen said the trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but the state still has hospital capacity. Personal protective equipment levels remain stable.

In other local statistics:

• COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Hispanic residents of the county as 29.89%, or 572 cases, make up the total cases despite Hispanic residents only comprising less than 10% of the county’s population. A total of 1,052 white residents have tested positive, along with 251 Black residents, five Asian residents, five American Indian/Alaskan Native residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander resident. A total of 323 cases are categorized “unknown,” while 277 are other.

• The average age of positive cases is at 41.9, with a plurality of cases among those aged 18-35, at 613. Residents aged 36-50 comprise 472 cases, while 335 are among the 51-64 age group and 297 are among those older than 65. The number of cases among children continues to rise and is now at 197.

• A total of 967 women comprise the total number of cases, followed closely by 947 among men.

• Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases at 602, followed by 417 cases among the 28144 area and 284 cases among the 28146 area.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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