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County adds 14 new cases to data hub; state health department to hold community testing events

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County health officials added 14 COVID-19 cases to its data hub on Wednesday as the state saw slight improvement with its percent of tests returning positive.

A total of 3,760 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Rowan County, with 439 of those cases currently positive. Additionally, 3,212 people have recovered.

The county reports 581 cases among local congregate care facilities since March. Active outbreaks, according to state data, include 23 cases at the Piedmont Correctional Institute, 93 cases at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, 45 cases at Accordius Health, 63 cases at Liberty Commons, five cases at Compass Health and nine cases at Elmcroft.

Comparatively, the county reports 81 cases at Piedmont Correctional Institute, 84 cases at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, 41 cases at Accordius Health, 58 cases at Liberty Commons, four cases at Compass Health and six cases at Elmcroft. County data does not include individuals at the facilities who don’t belong to Rowan County.

However, both Trinity Oaks and Autumn Care officials expect to soon be removed from the state’s list on ongoing outbreaks at nursing homes as weeks have passed since the last positive reported test at either facility, they said earlier this week. A total of 28 consecutive days after the last positive test reported must pass before the state removes the facility from its active outbreaks list.

Since March, the state has reported 236,407 positive cases of COVID-19 after conducting 3.46 million tests. Of the total cases, 1,926 are newly reported. A total of 1,152 people are currently being hospitalized, with 194 of those admitted within the last 24 hours. A total of 3,856 people have died.

The state’s rate of tests returning positive declined slightly on Wednesday and is now at 6.6%, but it remains higher than the 5% range recommended by health experts. The average turnaround time for tests remains at two days.

State data show that 266 people are currently being hospitalized in the Metrolina Healthcare region, which includes Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties.

State health officials announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will conduct more than 100 community testing events in October across 32 counties, including Rowan, Cabarrus, Davidson and Stanly counties. The testing events are free, and will take place on the following dates at the following locations:

• Oct. 15 — 216 Patterson Ave. SE in Concord from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
• Oct. 16, Oct. 19 to Oct. 23, and Oct. 26 to Oct. 27 — 102 Stanly Parkway in Locust in Stanly County from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Oct. 22 — 217 N Long St. in Salisbury from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
• Oct. 23 to Oct. 24 — 2000 Wilbur St. in Winston-Salem from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Deaths remain at 109 in Rowan County, with an average age of 80. A total of 23 are currently being hospitalized. More than 1,000 people between the age of 18 and 35 have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, which amounts to an average age of 43.8 among all reported cases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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