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New COVID-19 outbreak grows at Salisbury nursing home

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — An additional 13 cases at the Autumn Care of Salisbury were reported on Thursday, bringing the total to 24.

County data show three employees and 21 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the nursing home on Bringle Ferry Road. As of Thursday evening, neither the Autumn Care staff nor its ownership company has responded to the Post’s request for more information about the outbreak.

The additional Autumn Care cases bring the county’s congregate care case count to 266. Other active outbreaks, according to the Rowan County Health Department, include the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Community Living Center with six cases, and two local group homes with 11 cases across both.

The county’s total case count grew by 41 on Thursday, which also increased the total number of currently positive cases to 339. Recoveries, however, continue to improve and are now at 1,762.

A total of 21,177 tests have been reported to the county, but that number doesn’t include the most up-to-date total of negative tests. That number and the positive rate were scheduled to be updated Thursday, but county spokesperson TJ Brown said the county has not yet received those updated data from the state. Health officials say they are trying to provide a more accurate count of negative tests.

County officials said that, as of Saturday, county COVID-19 data will be released in the morning instead of in the evening.

Across the state, the case positive rate is 9% as 131,267 cases have been confirmed across the state after 1.9 million completed tests. The number of hospitalized patients decreased by 20 on Thursday and is now at 1,147. Deaths statewide are at 2,092.

State health officials on Thursday announced that approximately 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks and significant amounts of additional personal protective equipment has been distributed to targeted areas across the state.

Targeted settings include schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities and courthouses.

State officials also said 7 million pairs of gloves, 650,000 face shields, 600,000 shoe covers and 100,000 units of hand sanitizer have been distributed.

Deaths in Rowan County remain at 50. Hospitalizations grew by one and are now at 25. A total of 146 people have been hospitalized in the county since the pandemic began, with an average age of 62.

In other local statistics:

  • The average age among all cases is 42.5, with the most cases among the 18-35 age range — 664. Residents aged 36-50 comprise the next highest amount of positive cases, at 522. Those aged 51-64 comprise 393 cases, while those older than 65 make up 349 cases. Cases among those younger than 18 continue to rise and are currently at 223.
  • COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Hispanic residents as they comprise 27.57% of all cases despite making up less than 10% of the county’s population. White residents comprise 1,145 cases, along with 282 Black residents, nine American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, five Asian residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. A total of 302 cases are considered “other,” and 407 are unknown.
  • Women comprise the majority of COVID-19 cases at 1,111, while men comprise the remaining 1,040 cases.
  • COVID-19 has impacted the zip code 28147 the most, with 645 cases. It is followed by 449 cases in zip code 28144 and 362 cases in 28146.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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