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Two additional COVID-19 deaths reported; state’s rate of tests returning positive grows

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The county reported two additional COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, including one death at Liberty Commons and another not associated with a congregate care facility.

Liberty Commons reports 13 deaths since March, which includes its first reported outbreak in late April. All but 38 of the deaths in Rowan County have been among local congregate care facilities. The average age among the deaths remains at 80.

Rowan County health officials report 3,746 cases of COVID-19 since March after adding 10 cases on Tuesday. Of the total, 441, or about 12%, of those are currently active. The average age among all cases is 43.7, with the plurality of cases among those aged 18-35.

A total of 23 residents are being hospitalized, and 3,196 have recovered. The county reports 46,521 tests conducted.

While state data show active outbreaks at seven local congregate care facilities, representatives from Trinity Oaks said on Monday that it had been 18 days since the last positive test at the Health and Rehab Center. Autumn Care’s administrator, Glenn Terry, said on Sunday that it had been 28 days since the last positive test. It could be removed from the list this week as outbreaks are removed from the state’s website once 28 consecutive days have passed since the last positive test. But as of Tuesday, state data show an outbreak of 53 cases and 93 cases at Autumn Care and Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, respectively.

However, state data show two local outbreaks are now declared over — the Citadel and Big Elm Rehabilitation and Living Center. Both ended their outbreaks with less than 10 reported cases.

In total, the county reports 578 cases among local congregate care facilities since March. Active outbreaks, according to state data, include 29 cases at the Piedmont Correctional Institute, 45 cases at Accordius Health, 63 cases at Liberty Commons, five cases at Compass Health and nine cases at Elmcroft.

Across the state, 234,481 cases have been reported after completing 3.44 million tests, for a percent positive rate of 7.1%. That rate is higher than what has been reported lately as the rate of tests returning positive has hovered around 5% for weeks.

A total of 1,103 people are currently being hospitalized across the state, with 139 of those patients admitted within the last 24 hours. A total of 3,816 people have died.

Of the 234,481 total cases, state health officials presume 206,471, or 88%, have recovered.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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