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30 people now positive at Autumn Care nursing home

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Three additional people at the Autumn Care of Salisbury have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 30 cases there.

Of those 30, six are employees and 24 are residents. Autumn Care did not immediately respond to a Salisbury Post request about the state of the outbreak.

The additional Autumn Care cases bring the total positive count at congregate care facilities to 272. Other active cases at congregate care facilities include 11 cases among two local group homes.

Hospitalizations on Tuesday improved by one and are now at 29. That’s after marked a record number of hospitalizations — 30. A total of 154 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic came to Rowan County.

An additional 14 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total count to 2,227. However, the number of currently positive cases and recoveries improved on Tuesday as 331 people are currently positive and 1,846 patients have recovered.

Deaths remain at 50. A total of 22,886 tests have been reported.

County health officials are hosting a second drive-through face mask giveaway for Rowan County residents on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West End Plaza, located at 1935 West Jake Alexander Blvd. The face coverings are free and will include instructions for use.

Statewide, a total of 136,844 cases have been confirmed after 2 million completed tests for a rate of 5%. Hospitalizations only increased by two and are currently at 1,111 people, and 2,172 people have died.

State health officials on Tuesday announced the first case of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive dog in North Carolina. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

The case was discovered on Aug. 3 when a client brought their dog to the N.C. State Veterinary Hospital after the dog demonstrated signs of respiratory distress earlier that day. The dog did not overcome the illness and died. The client alerted staff that a member of their family had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and later tested negative.

Samples collected from the dog were tested for the virus in the hospital diagnostic laboratory and sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories for confirmatory testing. Those tests confirmed a positive result. A necropsy was performed in an attempt to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of death and the cause of death, but the complete investigation is ongoing. The N.C. State Veterinary Hospital staff notified the family, state health officials and the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services of the positive test result.

“Based on the information available, the risk of animals spreading the virus to people is considered to be low,” said Dr. Carl Williams, state public health veterinarian.

If pet owners are concerned about the health of their dog, state health officials recommend they contact their veterinarian and discuss the dog’s symptoms before bringing them to the veterinarian office. Additional information regarding the virus and animals is available from the CDC at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html.

According to the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, there is currently no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading the virus.

“There is no indication at this time that dogs can transmit the virus to other animals, so there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes.

However, state health officials say they’re closely monitoring the emerging information about COVID-19 and its consequences for domestic animals. Guidance for pet owners is posted at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/information/individuals-families-communities/pet-owners.

In other local statistics:

  • Hispanic residents of Rowan County make up 27.12% of all cases, at 604, despite only comprising less than 10% of the overall population. A total of 1,180 white residents have tested positive, along with 292 Black residents, nine American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, five Asian residents and one Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Of all cases, 310 are considered other and 430 are unknown.
  • The average age of positive cases remains at 42.5, with the plurality of cases among 18 to 35-year-olds, at 689. The next highest positive age bracket is 36-50 at 538 cases, 410 cases among those aged 51-64 and 361 cases among those older than 65. Children currently comprise 229 cases.
  • A total of 1,150 women have tested positive, with 1,077 cases among men.
  • Zip code 28147 remains the area most impacted by COVID-19 as 664 people have tested positive in that area. Next up is zip code 28144 at 457 cases and 377 cases the the 28146 zip code.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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