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With three positive employees, jail annex becomes latest COVID-19 outbreak

SALISBURY — Rowan County now has six congregate living outbreaks, according to COVID-19 data released Friday morning by the Health Department.

The latest addition to the outbreak list was the Rowan County Jail Annex, located on Grace Church Road. There, three staff members have tested positive.

Sheriff Kevin Auten said the Sheriff’s Office was unable to release more specific information about the positive cases at the jail annex, which was designed to house 160 sentenced and pre-trial male inmates. He said the jail and annex have been fortunate to not have outbreaks among inmates so far. There was a single positive case among an inmate in April.

Staff at the jail and annex are mandated to wear masks or face coverings. Gloves are mandated when possible, and staff are encouraged to change gloves frequently. Staff also are evaluated before the start of each shift.

In addition to jails or prisons, congregate living facilities can include residential care and nursing homes, where most of Rowan County’s outbreaks have occurred.

Local data show five nursing home facilities with outbreaks on Friday, including Autumn Care, Compass Health, Accordius Health, the Citadel and Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, which is the site of the largest active outbreak.

At Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, there have been 67 cases, including 28 employees and 39 residents, and three deaths.

Friday’s local data update also included an increase of 47 positives across the county, brining the active case number to 413 and the total to 2,712. It is the fourth-largest increase on record in Rowan County.

There were relatively few other changes in the local outbreak on Friday. The number of people recovered was 2,237 on Friday — an increase of 34 from the day prior.

In other COVID-19 data:
• The number of cases across the state was 162,491 on Friday after increasing by 1,415. The average number of daily new cases across the state has remained relatively flat in August.
• The number of people hospitalized across the state has also flattened, and stood at 970 on Friday.
• While Rowan County’s positive test rate has fluctuated around 9% lately, the positive test rate across the state was 6.9% on Friday.
• Zip codes 28144 and 28147 continue to have the largest cumulative number of cases, with 607 and 741 positives, respectively. Both are Salisbury zip codes.
• The plurality of cases continue to be among the 18-35 age group, at 811.
• A majority of cases have occurred among women.

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