UPDATED: County ends week with seven COVID-19 deaths

Published 7:10 pm Friday, October 2, 2020

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — Another COVID-19 death at Liberty Commons was reported to the county on Friday. It marked the seventh death reported in as many days.

A total of 104 deaths have resulted from COVID-19 in Rowan County since March, will all but 35 of those among residents in a congregate care facility. Liberty Commons has reported 11 deaths. That’s in addition to eight reported from Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, seven deaths from Accordius Health and seven deaths from Autumn Care.

Rowan County has switched between fourth and fifth place in the state over the last few days based on the number of COVID-19 deaths reported. As of Friday, it’s tied with Forsyth County for fourth. Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties have reported more deaths, but they also have larger populations.

Of the 104 total deaths, 78 have been among white residents, while 15 were among Black residents. Hispanic residents have tested positive at a disproportionate rate since March, but they make up just three of the total deaths. The races and ethnicities of 11 of those deaths are unknown, according to county health officials.

Additionally, 58 of the local deaths have been among men.

The average age among the deaths is 80. Ninety-five of those deaths have been among those aged 65 and older. Eight deaths have been among those within the 51-64 age range.

An additional 166 cases have been added to the county’s data hub since Monday. In total, 3,515 residents have tested positive since March, with 412, or 11.72%, of those cases currently positive. The county’s current rate of tests returning positive dropped below 8% for the first time on Thursday and is currently at 8.07%. That’s several points higher than the state average and above the 5% rate health officials recommend.

The average age of those testing positive in the county is 43.7.

The county currently has recovery rate of 85.32%. That percentage excludes active cases.

In neighboring Cabarrus County, about 9.46% of its reported cases are currently active.

More than 500 of the total cases reported in the county have been among local congregate care facilities. The latest state data on outbreaks show 45 cases at Accordius Health; two cases at Big Elm Rehabilitation and Living Center; 49 cases at Liberty Commons; eight cases at the Citadel; 91 cases at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab and four cases at Compass Health. Additionally, county data show 69 cases at Piedmont Correctional Institution, which is also considered a congregate living facility and is the site of a large outbreak.

On Friday, a total of 20 residents were reported hospitalized. And according to the county’s weekly update of hospital bed and ventilator capacity, 67 of the 106 available beds and two of the 61 available ventilators are being used. Those numbers can include residents, and sometimes veterans, of other counties who seek care here.

Across the state, 216,886 cases have been confirmed after 3.13 million completed tests, which means 6.93% of all reported tests have returned positive. The previous three days have brought some of the highest daily increases in tests since early September. Hospitalizations in the state improved on Friday and were steady Saturday at 921, and 3,629 people have died.

Zip codes 28144 and 28147 in Rowan County continue to make up the plurality of cases, at 756 and 971 cases, respectively.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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