UPDATED: County reports additional death from Autumn Care nursing home

Published 6:13 pm Friday, August 21, 2020

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — County health officials reported an additional death from Autumn Care of Salisbury on Friday as now more than 40 people have tested positive at the nursing home.

The additional death brought the total number in Rowan County to 56, with three from Autumn Care. All but 16 from been from other local congregate care facilities. While the average age of all COVID-19 deaths in the county is 80, county spokesperson TJ Brown said on Friday the average age among non-congregate deaths is 70.

In Rowan County, an additional 54 people were reported positive on Friday and Saturday, bringing the total to 2,503. Of those, 13.42% are currently positive and nearly 84.33% have recovered.

While Cabarrus County has more total cases reported —3,008— 10.97% of those cases are currently positive and 87.23% of those cases have recovered. Cabarrus County has reported 54 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

There are now three active outbreaks at local congregate care facilities, with the largest outbreak at Autumn Care. A total of 12 employees and 33 residents have tested positive there, but one employee isn’t a Rowan County resident. One employee and one resident have tested positive at Compass Health in Spencer, along with four residents at Accordius Health on Statesville Boulevard.

There’s also an active cluster at North Hills Christian School as five staff members have been reported positive for COVID-19.

State health officials on Friday updated guidance for colleges and universities working to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. In compliance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s safer-at-home order, higher education institutions should require and enforce the wearing of cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose as well as limit social gatherings both on and off campus.

The guidance also limits on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings, implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately.

For more information regarding the updated changes, visit the education section of the guidance website at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance.

The latest update from state health officials this week shows emergency department visits for COVID-like illness decreased in most areas of the state. But while the total number of people admitted to hospitals within the Public Health Epidemiologist network for COVID-19 decreased, the percentage admitted to the ICU increased.

Daily reported hospitalizations across the state decreased two days in a row — Friday and Saturday, where there were 996 in hospitals with COVID-19 in the state. In North Carolina, 153,641 people have been reported positive from 2.05 million completed tests. That’s a statewide positive rate of 8%. A total of 2,521 people have died.

Hospitalizations in Rowan County increased to 23 on Friday and remained there Saturday. A total of 177 people have been hospitalized in the county since March, for an average age of 62.

The percent positive rate in Rowan County has hovered around 9% for weeks now. Brown has previously said the recommendation from the CDC and epidemiologists is to get the percent closer to 5%.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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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