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County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The total number of COVID-19 deaths in Rowan has now reached 90 after one additional death from Liberty Commons was reported Thursday.

Thursday’s death is the ninth this week. All but 29 of the total deaths have been among local congregate care facilities, making Rowan the fifth county in the state for most deaths. The average age among the deaths remains at 80.

The latest state data show only Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties have more deaths than Rowan as of Thursday. State data show only 86 deaths in Rowan County, while county data show 90 deaths. County spokesperson TJ Brown says discrepancies between county and state data can result from a lag in reporting cases and deaths.

Liberty Commons has now seen six deaths and 19 cases during its current outbreak. County data also show eight deaths and 81 cases at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, five deaths and 51 cases at Autumn Care, six deaths and 42 cases at Accordius Health, seven cases at the Citadel, three cases at Rowan County Jail Annex and four cases at Compass Health in Spencer.

While one-day increases of cases have declined since the start of September, 31 cases were added to the county’s total on Thursday, making it one of the largest this month. Of the 3,132 total cases, 358 are currently positive and 2,684 have recovered.

Additionally, the rate at which COVID-19 tests return positive improved on Thursday after a weekly update from county health officials. Of the total 37,899 tests that have been reported, 34,767 of those are negative, for a rate of 8.26%. Last week, the rate was 8.48%.

Hospitalizations in the county also improved on Thursday and are now at 14, with an average age of 63 among all 208 total hospitalizations in the county reported since March.

Statewide, 189,576 cases have been confirmed after 2.71 completed tests, for a rate of 5.6%. Hospitalizations across the state improved and are now at 894, and 3,180 people have died.

State data also show 110 of those hospitalizations across the state were admitted within the last 24 hours. And of the 2,316 ventilators available, 970 are currently in use, while 15,246 inpatient hospital beds are currently in use.

Also on Thursday, Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, announced in a news conference that the state has seen a sustained leveling or decrease in some key metrics. Those improvements, all measured within the last 14 days, include declines in the trajectory of lab-confirmed cases, percent of tests returning positive and hospitalizations.

Additionally, personal protective equipment supplies are stable, access to testing has expanded as no-cost testing events are being deployed across the state and testing turnaround times have improved, she said.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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