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Rowan ends week with 7 deaths, worsening congregate outbreaks

SALISBURY — Rowan County ended the week on Saturday by recording its seventh COVID-19 death in as many days.

The latest death came from someone not associated with a congregate living facility. No other identifying information was provided. Other deaths last week all occurred at nursing homes, including at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, Autumn Care and Accordius Health.

There have now been 46 deaths at congregate living facilities, which includes nursing homes, and 17 deaths outside of congregate living facilities. The average age of the dead is 81.

Nursing homes, in particular, were hard-hit by COVID-19 last week, with cases in congregate living facilities spiking by more than 100, from 292 at the start of the week to 405 on Saturday. Dozens of cases have been identified at Accordius Health on Statesville Boulevard. Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, which was named an outbreak two weeks ago, saw the emergence of dozens more cases last week. The Citadel, once the largest outbreak in the state, saw the re-emergence of COVID-19 at its facility.

The Rowan County Jail Annex, considered a congregate living facility, became the site of an outbreak on Friday when three employees were found to be positive. Sheriff Kevin Auten told the Post on Friday that he was unable to release more specific information about the jail annex cases. He said the Rowan County Jail and the annex, designed to house 160 sentenced and pre-trial male inmates, have been fortunate so far to avoid positive cases among inmates.

On Saturday, the county marked its 41st day of double-digit, daily increases in new positives reported, with cases increasing by 47 on Friday and 22 on Saturday. There are 409 active cases in the county, 2,734 total cases and 2,262 people recovered. The percentage of tests coming back positive has hovered around 9%.

There are 24 Rowan County residents hospitalized and 56 hospital beds occupied in the county, a number that includes people who live elsewhere.

In other COVID-19 statistics:

• The state saw one of its largest increases yet in positive cases on Sunday, 2,585, but a news release said that number included test results reported weeks late by LapCorp. The state now has 165,076 total cases, 2.22 million completed tests and 965 people hospitalized. The hospitalization number, in particular, has trended lower in recent weeks.

• While there have been more active COVID-19 cases in Cabarrus County for weeks, Rowan has now passed its southern neighbor. The Cabarrus Health Alliance on Saturday showed 400 active cases, while there were 409 in Rowan County.

• Zip codes 28144 and 28147 continue to have the largest cumulative number of cases, with 612 and 748 positives, respectively. Both are Salisbury zip codes.

• Positives by geography largely look similar to population numbers, with more populated areas having more positives. Unincorporated areas of Rowan County (1,227), Salisbury (998), northern Kannapolis (205) and China Grove (81) having the largest numbers of cases.

• The plurality of cases continue to be among the 18-35 age group, at 818.

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