County sees highest number of currently hospitalized

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 9, 2020

SALISBURY — Rowan County reached saw its highest number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday when the number hit 27.

The previous mark was 25, a number the county has seen multiple times since the the first confirmed case of COVID-19 here in March.

Specific demographic data about those hospitalized was not released. However, the numbers contribute to the total of 149 that have been hospitalized since the outbreak came to Rowan. The average age among those who have tested positive is 62.

Additionally, 39 hospital beds in Rowan County are currently being used for COVID-19 patients, a number that also includes people who live elsewhere and are seeking care here. The latest update shows six ventilators are in use at local hospitals. There are 103 hospital beds currently designated for COVID-19 positives and 61 ventilators available.

Rowan County data also show the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to increase by double digits, with 27 new cases reported Saturday. There was no update Friday because county staff have shifted to updating numbers in the morning rather than the evening. According to Saturday’s data, 2,178 patients tested positive, with a total of 266 at congregate-care facilities. There have been a total of 20,659 negative COVID-19 tests out of 22,837 total tests reported.

Locally, the number of COVID-19-related deaths remains at 50, with 1,794 patients recovered and 334 people currently positive.

This week, while one local congregate care facility was declared outbreak-free, another facility emerged as the site of an outbreak.

On Friday, state and county health officials confirmed the outbreak at the Hefner VA Community Living Center is now considered over, which means no evidence of transmission within 28 days of the most recent case.

But the state’s outbreak report of congregate care facilities shows that four staff and 21 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Autumn Care of Salisbury facility. One of those staff members does not live in the county, according to local data.

The county said Friday the case positive rate here was 9.43%, slightly higher than one week prior as well as higher than the state’s current positive rate of 8%.
State data show 134,766 positive cases after 1.97 million completed tests, with 1,129 people hospitalized and 2,160 dead.

The state is now requiring biweekly staff testing for nursing homes and more state funding for the tests until November.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said it would deploy additional infection control support teams to support ongoing efforts to help long-term care facilities prevent and manage outbreaks at congregate care facilities.

State health officials also announced on Friday that seven additional vendors have been selected to hire and manage more than 250 community health workers, of who will be deployed in 50 targeted counties to connect people affected by COVID-19 in need of services and support.

Kepro, a Pennsylvania-based company, is the vendor selected to serve Rowan County, in addition to Mecklenburg, Gaston, Cabarrus, Stanly, Montgomery and Union counties.

A drive-through free mask giveaway will take place Thursday, Aug. 13 at the West End Plaza, 1935 W. Jake Alexander Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.