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COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow at local congregate care facilities

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — COVID-19 outbreaks continued to grow in Rowan County on Wednesday when an additional eight people across two local nursing homes were reported positive.

County data show an additional seven employees at Trinity Oaks have tested positive, which amounts to 28 positive employees and 40 positive residents. Trinity Oaks is the site of the latest and largest outbreak. One additional resident at Accordius Health on Statesville Boulevard has tested positive, bringing the total number of positive residents there to seven.

That total number of congregate care facility cases has now risen to 363. Two other active facilities with outbreaks include Autumn Care, with 11 positive employees and 33 positive patients, along with one positive employee and one positive resident at Compass Health in Spencer. Additionally, county data show that a cluster of five positive staff members at North Hills Christian School remains.

Deaths remain at 61, with all but 16 from local congregate care facilities. While 37 of those deaths are for nursing homes that no longer have outbreaks, five deaths have been reported at Autumn Care, and three have been reported at Trinity Oaks. The average age among the deaths is 81.

Including cases among local congregate care facilities, a total of 18 people new people were reported positive on Wednesday, bringing the countywide total to 2,632 cases. Of those, 379 are active, and 83% of all cases have recovered.

Hospitalizations grew to 28 as a total of 185 have been hospitalized in total. The record number of hospitalizations in the county so far is 30.

A total of 26,650 tests have been reported to the county. However, that number doesn’t include the total number of negative tests, which is updated once each week. Those totals are used to calculate the percent positive rate, which has hovered around 9% for weeks.

Across the state, 158,985 people have tested positive after 2.12 million completed tests, for a rate of 7.8%. An additional four hospitalizations on Wednesday brought the total to 1,004. There have been 2,606 deaths in the state.

Also on Wednesday, state health officials announced during a press conference that new data regarding the average turnaround time for COVID-19 testing will be regularly released. As of Wednesday, the average turnaround time is 2.2 days. That number is calculated by adding together the average number of days from the specimen collection to the lab result and the average number of days from the lab result to the electronic reporting to the state.

Wednesday’s county update came with few changes to the demographic data regarding the outbreak. Hispanic residents currently comprise 32% of all cases. White residents make up more than half of all cases. Black residents make up nearly 14% of all cases. Fewer than than 1% of all cases have been among Asian residents, American Indian/Alaskan Native residents and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents. A little more than 28% of all cases are considered unknown or other.

The average age of positive cases is 43.1. Young adults still make up the plurality of all cases, as 797 people aged 18-35 have tested positive. Locals between the ages of 36-50 comprise 626 cases, along with 478 cases among the 51-64 age bracket and 462 cases among those 65 and older. Cases among those under 18 are currently at 269.

Nearly 53% of all cases have been among women.

Zip code 28147 has been the area hit hardest by the virus, as 734 cases have been reported there. A total of 584 cases have been within the 28144 area, which is also where Trinity Oaks is located.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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