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Three more COVID-19 deaths, new daily case record reported in Rowan

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Local health officials on Wednesday reported three additional COVID-19 deaths as the county set another record for the most cases reported in a single day.

Wednesday’s deaths mean there have been eight reported this week and 146 to date. Two of those deaths on Wednesday were among community members who aren’t associated with a congregate care facility. For the second consecutive day, another was reported at Autumn Care on Bringle Ferry Road, which reports 11 deaths.

Though the majority of deaths are associated with congregate care facilities, 58 are among community members outside of those facilities — a number that has increased steadily in recent weeks.

The average age among the deaths remains 80.

Cases continue to rise at their fastest rate yet. On Wednesday, the county reported another record increase after 136 cases were added to the county’s total. That also marks the fifth triple-digit increase in cases in a week’s time.

Just a week ago, the county’s record was 126 cases reported in a single day.

Of the 6,522 cases reported to date, 1,373, or 21%, are currently active, while 5,003 have recovered. On Wednesday, 22 Rowan Countians were being hospitalized for COVID-19. The average age of hospitalizations remains 64, while the average age of all positive cases is 44.1.

The 18-35 age group continues to represent the plurality of COVID-19 positives.

The county currently has outbreaks among 10 local facilities, including Accordius Health, Autumn Care, Brightmoor Nursing Center, the Citadel, the Laurels, Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, Trinity Oaks Continuing Care Retirement Community, Compass Assisted, The Meadows of Rockwell and the Piedmont Correctional Institute.

Brightmoor Nursing Center is currently in its second outbreak after state health officials declared the outbreak over on Nov. 24.

With a worsening outbreak, Rowan County this week moved to one 48 counties in the “red” or “critical” category of the state’s county alert system map. The number of red counties has more than doubled since Nov. 23.

Additionally, the county ranks 17th in the state for most reported cases, and fifth for most deaths.

State health officials reported a new high of 6,495 cases on Wednesday, totaling 410,527 cases among North Carolinians since March. After 5.73 million tests, the overall positive rate is 7.2%, but the daily positive rate on Wednesday was 11.7%,

Currently, 2,440 North Carolinians are being hospitalized and 5,661 have died.

Of the hospitalizations, 301 were admitted within the last 24 hours. The plurality, or 699, of hospitalizations are among the Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition region, which is where Rowan County is located. The Triad region is also using 496 ICU beds, which is currently the most of any region.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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