County reaches 110 COVID-19 deaths
By Natalie Anderson
SALISBURY — There have now been 110 reported COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County.
Thursday’s addition of a single COVID-19 death marks the 39th among someone not associated with a congregate care facility. The average age among all deaths remains at 80. Rowan County now reports 3,799 total cases since March, with 458 of those cases currently positive. A total of 3,231 people have recovered.
The county’s rate of tests returning positive, updated weekly, continues to steadily decline and is now at 7.67%. Of the 49,559 tests reported, 45,760 have returned negative.
Another statistic updated weekly is the number of hospital beds and ventilators in use in the county, which is reported by local hospitals and can include patients outside of Rowan County. As of Thursday, 50 of the 106 available hospital beds are being used, and no ventilators are currently in use.
The number of hospitalizations among Rowan County residents, which is updated daily, improved on Thursday and is now at 19. A total of 250 Rowan County residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since March, with an average age of 64.
NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen during a Thursday news conference provided an update on the state’s current COVID-19 key metrics, which show the trajectory of confirmed cases over the last 14 days increasing as well as the percent of tests returning positive. Cohen said the percent of tests returning positive is still lower than it was in July — when the state experienced its highest rate of new cases.
Additionally, Cohen said the trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but added that the state has not yet reached capacity.
As of Thursday, a total of 238,939 North Carolinians have tested positive for COVID-19, with 2,532 of those cases newly reported. A total of 3.49 million tests have been conducted, and the current statewide percent positive rate of tests is at 6.5%. A total of 3,874 people have died across the state, and 1,140 people are currently being hospitalized.
Cohen encouraged North Carolinians to continue practicing the three Ws, especially as cooler weather and flu season approaches.
“We have the tools to slow the spread and protect one another. The science is clear on masks. They work. They slow the spread,” she said. “Whatever your reason, I am asking you to get behind the mask.”
State health officials also note that testing capacity continues to increase with upwards of 40,000 tests reported on peak days.
While no clusters are reported in child care or school settings in Rowan County, there are nearly 650 cases among 31 active clusters across the state.
Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.
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