Local nursing homes continue to be affected by COVID-19

Published 7:21 pm Sunday, August 16, 2020

By Natalie Anderson 

SALISBURY — COVID-19 continues to affect local nursing homes, with 19 cases and one new outbreak was reported at congregate care facilities over the previous week.

Though there are only two active nursing home outbreaks, the total number of cases at congregate care facilities is now at 285, which includes positives from nursing homes where outbreaks have been declared over. County data from Sunday reported that Autumn Care, the largest local, active outbreak, has nine positive employees and 32 positive residents.

Compass Health of Spencer is the site of the latest outbreak and currently has one positive employee and one positive resident.

Deaths remain at 53, with two of the deaths reported from Autumn Care. All but 14 deaths have occurred at local nursing homes, with an average age of 80.

Hospitalizations are currently at 20 after reaching a record count of 30 just a week ago. That amounts to a total of 163 hospitalized locals, with an average age of 62. County data show that 60 hospital beds are in use along with four ventilators. That weekly update includes non-Rowan County residents, particularly veterans, who seek care here.

Hospitalizations across the state have significantly improved over the previous week; the total is now at 934. Just a week ago, the state was seeing more than 1,100 hospitalizations.

Statewide, a total of 144,952 cases have been confirmed after 1.92 million completed tests, for a rate of 7%. A total of 2,347 people have died.

Of those positive cases, 56% have been among white North Carolinians, while 24% have been among Black residents. Black residents comprise 22% of the state’s overall population.

Additionally, state data show 31% of all deaths across the state have been from Black residents.

Cases continue to rise locally by double digits and are now at 2,369, with 341 currently positive. Recoveries are at 1,975.

For the previous two weeks, the percent positive rate of Rowan Countians hovered around 9%. A total of 24,485 tests have been reported, and 22,116 of those were reported negative on Thursday. An up-to-date count of negative tests is updated once a week.

The average age of all cases is 42.5, with those aged 18-35 comprising the most cases at 734, followed by 568 cases among those aged 36-50, 430 among those aged 51-64 and 391 among those older than 65. Cases in children, however, continue to rise and are now at 246.

Despite making up less than 10% of Rowan County’s population, Hispanic residents have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, as they make up 677 cases or 28.58%. State data also show Hispanic North Carolinians comprise 39% of all cases despite making up less than 10% of the state’s population as well.

Meanwhile, white residents make up more than half of all cases, at 1,313. Black residents make up almost 14% of all cases, at 324. Additionally, there have been 11 cases among American Indian/Alaskan Native residents, six cases among Asian residents and one case among a Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander resident. About 16% of cases are considered “other,” while about 14% are unknown.

Women comprise a little more than half of all cases at 1,223, while men make up the remaining 1,146 cases.

Zip code 28147 remains the area most impacted by COVID-19, at 691 cases. It’s followed by 486 in the 28144 area. Zip code 28146 currently has 402 cases, which is also where the Autumn Care nursing home is located.

Any Rowan County resident can be tested at the following locations this week:

West End Plaza
1935 W Jake Alexander Boulevard, Salisbury
Monday, Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Testing is free and open to the public. 

Rowan Helping Ministries
226 N Long Street, Salisbury
Monday, Aug. 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Testing is free and open to the public.

Rowan County Health Department
1811 E Innes Street, Salisbury
Friday, Aug. 21 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Testing is free and open to the public.

Novant Health Rowan
1904 Jake Alexander Boulevard, Salisbury
Call 704-210-7845 for an appointment.
Testing criteria may apply.

Novant Health Rowan Screening Center
315 Mocksville Avenue, Salisbury
Tuesday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. – noon
Thursday, Aug. 13 from 8 a.m. – noon
Testing criteria may apply. Patients are tested without leaving their car.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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