County reports another COVID-19 death, positivity rate increases again

Published 6:20 pm Thursday, December 10, 2020

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Health officials on Thursday reported additional coronavirus death and an increased positivity rate as the county continued to see a critical level of community spread.

Thursday’s death was the 59th reported outside of a local congregate care facility. Deaths now total 147, with an average age of 80 among them.

The county now reports 6,612 total cases following an increase of 90 cases on Thursday, which comes just one day after a record increase of 136 cases on Wednesday and five consecutive days of triple-digit increases. The rate of currently active cases increased and now comprises 21.4%, or 1,415, of the total cases as 5,050 people have recovered.

A weekly update shows that 8.41% of total tests have been positive after 78,596 completed tests. That’s a number used to gauge the level of community spread and has steadily increased in recent weeks.

Currently, 21 Rowan Countians are being hospitalized for COVID-19, while 321 residents have been hospitalized for the virus to date, with an average age of 64.

A weekly update from hospitals on bed and ventilator capacity shows that 83 of the 108 available beds and five of the 61 available ventilators are currently in use, which also reflects a steady increase in recent weeks.

State health officials reported 5,556 additional cases of COVID-19 across the state on Thursday, totaling 416,083 cases after 5.78 million completed tests. The daily percent positive rate improved to 10.5% on Thursday, while the overall rate is 7.2%.

Currently, 2,444 North Carolinians are being hospitalized and 5,714 have died. The Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition region, where Rowan County sits, is treating the plurality of COVID-19 patients in the state, as 713 of the hospitalizations are within that region. That region is also using the plurality of ICU beds — 492.

Additionally, Rowan County’s region is currently using the second-largest number of total inpatient hospital beds — 3,762. The Metrolina region, which includes Mecklenburg, Stanly and Cabarrus counties, is first.

State data also show that Rowan County zip code 28147 is currently tied with zip code 28001 in Stanly County for the second-highest number of deaths reported across the state — 60. Zip code 28147 in Rowan County is the site of five local congregate living facilities, including the Laurels, Elmcroft, Liberty Commons, Piedmont Correctional Institute and the Citadel. Deaths among those facilities total 44 deaths, with 21 from the Citadel alone. Those facilities, excluding Elmcroft and Liberty Commons, currently have outbreaks.

The only zip code with more reported deaths is 27804, located in Nash County, which reports 63 deaths.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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