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Three new COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes; preschool becomes COVID-19 cluster

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The county on Tuesday reported three additional COVID-19 deaths from two local nursing homes, bringing the total to 67.

Two deaths were reported at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab along with one death at Accordius Health. That amounts to 49 deaths from local congregate care facilities, with 12 from sites that currently have outbreaks. The average age among the deaths remains at 81.

A total of 411 COVID-19 positives have occurred at local nursing homes. State data show Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab continues to be the site of the largest local outbreak, as 39 employees and 42 residents have tested positive. Local data omits one of those residents.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Preschool, located in eastern Rowan, was the newest addition to active school clusters or congregate outbreaks on Tuesday. There, four positive employees and three positive children were reported. North Hills Christian School, with five positive employees, remains an active outbreak.

The total number of cases in Rowan County is now at 2,814, with 423 currently active and a recovery rate of 83%. The average age among cases is 43.3.

Hospitalizations grew to 27 on Tuesday. A total of 191 people have been hospitalized in the county since the start of the pandemic in the county.

Statewide, a total of 169,424 people have tested positive from 2.3 million completed tests. A total of 946 people are being hospitalized, and 2,741 people have died.

Also on Tuesday, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen shared an update on the state’s data trends, which have decreased slightly or stabilized, she said.

Cohen said the state’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases and percent tests returning positive are both stable, and the trajectory of hospitalizations is declining.

“As we take modest steps forward today, it’s important to remember that moving forward doesn’t mean letting up on slowing the spread of the virus. Our progress is fragile and we need to maintain focus on the 3Ws especially as we head into flu season,” Cohen said.

Additionally, Cohen issued a secretarial order allowing for outdoor visitation at nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. To participate, facilities must be free of an active COVID-19 outbreak, have a testing plan with updated written infection control or preparedness plans and have adequate personal protective equipment. The order is effective Sept. 4, and remains in effect until Sept. 22.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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