Company confirms Daimler employee died after testing positive for COVID-19

Published 8:39 pm Friday, July 31, 2020

SALISBURY — An employee at the Daimler Trucks plant in Cleveland died Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, the company said.

A Daimler Trucks North America spokesperson said the employee tested positive several weeks ago. The person was one of several at the plant who have tested positive for COVID-19, with the first case reported in early April. While Daimler in early July said 13 total employees had tested positive, the company did not specify in a statement to the Post on Friday whether there were any currently positive cases among employees.

“Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and to his co-workers during this time,” the company said in a statement. “He was a valuable member of the Cleveland, North Carolina community and this is a great loss for all of us.  We are living through extremely difficult times and this news is very sad for the entire Daimler family.”

Other identifying information about the employee was not immediately available on Friday.

There have been 50 deaths among Rowan County residents attributed to COVID-19, according to Friday’s update from the Rowan County Health Department. County spokesman T.J. Brown said he was not sure if that number included the Daimler Trucks North America employee.

Most COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County have occurred in nursing homes, but the number of people who have died after testing positive outside of the facilities, 13, has been rising in recent weeks. Brown said two of the previous four deaths have occurred among people younger than 65.

The county also says 39 of 103 COVID-19 hospital beds are occupied — a number that includes people receiving care locally that live elsewhere — and 13 Rowan County residents are hospitalized. There have been 126 people hospitalized during the COVID-19 outbreak in Rowan County, with an average age of 62.

Local COVID-19 cases are nearing another two-week stretch of double-digit increases in positives, with the 19-case increase on Friday bringing the total to 1,985. The number of active cases, however, decreased for the third day in a row on Friday — from 242 to 238 — because more people were reported recovered than the number of new cases.

Testing locations for August are:

• West End Plaza
1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Salisbury
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday
Testing is free and open to the public

•Fast Med Clinic
1361 Klumac Road, Salisbury
Will bill insurance. For non-insured individuals, the cost is $199 for both COVID-19 and antibody testing. No appointments needed.

• North Rowan Family Medicine
Food Lion parking lot
300 North Salisbury Ave., Spencer
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25

• Novant Health Rowan
1904 Jake Alexander Blvd., Salisbury
Call for an appointment. Testing criteria may apply

• Novant Health Rowan screening center
315 Mocksville Ave., Salisbury
8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays

• Rowan County Health Department
1811 E Innes St., Salisbury
8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Aug. 12 and Aug. 19
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 7 and Aug. 21
Testing is free and open to the public

• Rowan Helping Ministries
226 N. Long St., Salisbury
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17

In other local COVID-19 statistics:

  • Cases at congregate care facilities, which include nursing homes, remain at 240.
  • COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Hispanic residents of the county at 29.32%, or 582 cases. That’s despite Hispanic residents composing less than 10% of the county’s population. A total of 1,074 white residents have tested positive, along with 260 Black residents, five Asian residents, seven American Indian/Alaskan Native residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander resident. A total of 348 cases are categorized “unknown,” while 290 are other.
  • The average age of positive cases is at 42, with a plurality of cases among those aged 18-35, at 630. Residents aged 36-50 comprise 488 cases, while 360 are among the 51-64 age group and 301 are among those older than 65. The number of cases among those younger than 18 continues to rise and is now at 206.
  • A total of 1,013 women have tested positive, followed by 972 men.
  • Zip code 28147 remains the area with the most cases at 617, followed by 423 cases among the 28144 area and 302 cases among the 28146 area.