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Rate of COVID-19 tests returning positive steadily declining; single-day increases fluctuate

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Though 33 new cases were added to the county’s data hub on Thursday, the rate of COVID-19 tests returning positive continues to decline.

Single-day increases in cases have fluctuated for months. Within the last seven days, daily increases have ranged from four to 52 new cases.

Of the 46,410 total cases reported since March, 42,775 of those have returned negative, for a rate of 7.83%. Additionally, 439, or 12%, of the total 3,635 cases reported are currently positive.

By contrast, Cabarrus County has reported 4,254 cases since March, with about 9% of those currently active.

Hospitalizations among Rowan County residents improved on Thursday and are now at 17. While that data is updated daily, the number of hospital beds and ventilators used for COVID-19 patients is reported weekly from local hospitals. Thursday’s update showed 55 of the 106 available hospital beds are being used for patients, while no ventilators are currently in use. Those beds can include residents from other counties who seek care here in Rowan.

Deaths remain at 105, with all but 35 among local congregate care facilities. That puts Rowan County within the top five for most reported COVID-19 deaths. Nine local facilities are currently experiencing outbreaks, which includes 72 cases at Piedmont Correctional Institute; 93 cases at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab; 55 cases at Liberty Commons; 53 cases at Autumn Care and 45 cases at Accordius Health, according to state data. Other outbreaks include fewer than 10 cases at Big Elm Rehabilitation and Living Center, Compass Health, Elmcroft and the Citadel.

Statewide, there are 225,397 confirmed cases following 3.26 million reported tests, for a rate of 5.5%. Hospitalizations across the state increased again on Thursday and are currently at 1,051, with 148 of those admitted within the last 24 hours.

State health officials also announced on Thursday that the state’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is partnering with UNC-TV and the Governor’s Institute to host virtual town hall meetings throughout October and November to hear concerns from consumers, family members and behavioral health advocates. Additionally, the meetings will include discussions regarding the status of the transition from the state’s Medicaid program to managed care.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, which operates in Rowan County, will host its town hall on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. Virtual town halls can be accessed via Facebook Live on the NC Governor’s Institute Facebook page.

Questions can be posted in the live chat during the town hall, or a recorded video message can be uploaded beforehand to a OneDrive folder set up for each meeting.

State health officials cite an estimated 113,816 adults and children receive behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities services through the state’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. An additional 8,066 people were served through state-operated facilities.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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