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County’s rate of tests returning positive continues to decrease, still above 7%

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The rate of COVID-19 tests returning positive in Rowan County continues to gradually decrease, but it still hovered above 7% Thursday after more than 3,000 negative COVID-19 tests were added to the county data hub.

The county says there have been 55,239 tests reported since March, with 51,131 of those tests returning negative and the remaining 7.44% of tests returning positive. Health experts advise the rate be 5% or lower. In late September, the rate was 8%, and it has steadily declined since.

County health officials add negative cases to the hub once per week on Thursday. Also on Thursday, health officials added 17 cases and reported 4,108 cases total. Of those, 11% are currently active and 3,517 locals have recovered. The average age among the cases remains at 43.8.

A daily update showed hospitalizations improved in the county on Thursday and are now at 12. With a total of 257 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, the average age among hospitalizations is 64.

The county also provides a weekly update on available hospital beds and ventilators, which can include out-of-county patients as well. As of Thursday, 41 of the 106 hospital beds and one of the 61 available ventilators are currently in use — a slight improvement from last week’s update of 51 hospital beds and two ventilators being used.

State health officials on Thursday reported an additional 2,885 cases, totaling 269,021 cases after 3.95 million completed tests, which amounts to a 6.4% percent positive rate. A total of 1,181 people are being hospitalized and 4,238 people have died.

Total number of COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County remain at 120, with all but 45 among local congregate care facilities. Facilities with current outbreaks include Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, Elmcroft of Salisbury, Liberty Commons, N.C. State Veterans Home and Accordius Health. Additionally, data show eight active cases are at Piedmont Correctional Institute.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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