Few changes Monday in Rowan’s COVID-19 outbreak

Published 5:34 pm Monday, August 17, 2020

SALISBURY — State and local updates on Monday brought few changes to the COVID-19 outbreak in Rowan County.

There were 14 new positives reported in Rowan County’s COVID-19 update and no new recoveries, bringing the case total to 2,383 and the active case number to 355. Active cases have traditionally hovered closer to 300, but have trended higher in recent weeks because most days bring more positive tests than recoveries.

Monday’s update brought one additional positive case at Autumn Care, a nursing home on Bringle Ferry Road that’s now the site of the largest local nursing home outbreak. There, the Rowan County Health Department says 42 people, including 32 residents and 10 staffers, have tested positive. Two people have died at the nursing home after testing positive.

Numbers that remained unchanged Monday included the number of people who have recovered, 1,975; and the number of those who have died, 53.

Because negative tests are only added on Thursdays, the number of tests conducted, 24,499, only included the addition of 14 positive tests.

Compared to neighboring counties, Rowan has also remained relatively unchanged of late. While Rowan County has more total positives than all but Cabarrus County, both Iredell and Cabarrus have more active cases.

Statewide, there have been 145,616 positive cases, with daily positives increasing at a slower pace of late. There have been 1.92 million completed tests, and 980 people were hospitalized in the state on Monday.

In conjunction with schools opening for in-person instruction on Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said it was expanding a helpline called Hope4Healers (919-226-2002) to include teachers, school personnel and their families. The helpline is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It provides someone who is trained to listen and offer support about mental health-type issues. Following an initial call, the person will be contacted within a day for a free, confidential follow-up.

The helpline is a partnership between NCDHHS and the N.C. Psychological Foundation.

“Our children across the state will be best served by educators and school staff who are taking care of their own mental health needs,” said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Kody Kinsley. “Our educators and school teams are working in an unprecedented situation on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. We want to make sure they have access to the mental health and resilience supports they may need to feel like their best selves in the classroom — whether they are teaching in-person or remotely.”