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County reports 69 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — County health officials on Wednesday reported 69 additional cases of COVID-19, with 18.5% of all cases currently active.

As of Wednesday, a total of 5,815 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with 1,075 of those cases currently active and 4,607 patients recovered. The average age among positive tests is 44.1, with the plurality, or 27.2%, of cases among those aged 18-35.

Currently, 26 Rowan Countians are being hospitalized. To date, there have been 307 hospitalizations with an average age of 64 among them.

No new deaths were reported on Wednesday. All but 52 of the 133 total deaths have been from local congregate care facilities.

Those statistics put Rowan County 15th in the state for most reported cases, and sixth for most reported COVID-19 deaths.

A biweekly update from the state showed there are currently outbreaks at eight local facilities, including Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, The Meadows of Rockwell Retirement Center, Autumn Care, Accordius Health, the Citadel, the Laurels, Compass Assisted and Piedmont Correctional Institute.

Across the state, 4,199 additional cases of COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday, which totals 371,594 cases since March. And after 5.36 million tests, Wednesday’s daily positivity rate amounts to 11.4%, though the overall rate is 6.9%. Health experts recommend that rate be no more than 5%.

Currently, 2,039 North Carolinians are being hospitalized, while 5,366 people have died.

Of those hospitalizations, 267 were admitted within the last 24 hours. Additionally, the Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition region reports the largest amount of hospitalizations and the most ICU beds currently in use at 562 hospitalizations and 465 ICU beds in use, respectively. The Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition region encompasses Rowan, Davie, Iredell and Davidson counties.

Additionally, a biweekly update of hospitalization demographics show that of the 178 newly admitted patients by Friday, 34% are Black North Carolinians, while 5% are American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 54% are white and 5% are Hispanic. The plurality of those hospitalizations are among those aged 60-80 or older.

Also on Wednesday, county health officials reported that the Rowan County Health Department, located at 1811 E Innes St., will offer free drive-thru flu shots for uninsured or underinsured people on three Wednesdays this month —  Dec. 2, 9, and 16 — from 2:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the health department at 704-216-8782.

Health officials encourage all locals to receive a flu vaccine this season to prevent a “twin-demic” of severe illness from both the flu and COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the CDC reported 178,395 new cases and 2,461 new deaths across the nation, which totals 13.63 million cases and 269,763 deaths since January. North Carolina currently ranks No. 42 in the nation for the average daily cases per 100,000 residents over the last seven days.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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