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COVID-19 cases top 2,700 in week with erratic increases

SALISBURY — On Saturday, county health officials considered more than 2,700 cases of COVID-19 active.

That total reflects 32% of the 8,399 COVID-19 cases identified during the course of the pandemic, according to Rowan County numbers. It also reflects 5,515 recoveries and 164 deaths.

The state has slightly different totals for Rowan County’s total cases, with 8,575 and 162 deaths.

The Christmas holiday brought erratic increases in the previous week, with daily positives as high as 267 — a record — and as low as 46 — the lowest in a month. Officials provided two updates on Christmas Eve, but were unable to provide a new total for tests conducted because the state did not provide data for the total number of negative tests received in the county.

Daily increases this week were as follows:

• Sunday: 129

• Monday: 59

• Tuesday: 89

• Wednesday: 93

• Thursday: 267

• Friday: 46

• Saturday: 76

There were seven deaths reported this week, with six on Wednesday and one on Christmas Eve.

At present, data show there have been at least 85,206 tests conducted in the county since March and that 9.8% of those have returned positive.

There are 24 Rowan Countians hospitalized, 91 hospital beds in Rowan County being used for COVID-19 patients and two people on ventilators.

Deaths from COVID-19 in Rowan County have mostly come among residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities, but people outside of congregate living facilities comprise 70 of the coronavirus deaths here. The Citadel, at 21, is the facility that’s seen the largest number of deaths. At 16, Liberty Commons is second.

The following facilities congregate living facilities currently have COVID-19 outbreaks still considered active: Accordius Health, Autumn Care, Brightmoor Nursing, N.C. State Veterans Home, the Citadel, the Laurels, Trinity Oaks Skilled Nursing, Trinity Oaks Assisted Living, Bethany Retirement Center, Compass Assisted and Meadows of Rockwell.

Rowan County’s numbers show Trinity Oaks Skilled Nursing has seen the largest number of cases among active outbreaks, with 47 employees and 82 residents. There have been nine deaths attributed to coronavirus at the facility.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says there have been 513,930 positive tests in the state after 6.7 million completed tests. The number of people hospitalized in the state, 3,023, remains near a peak. The number of people who have died after testing positive is 6,526.

The state says at least 403,488 patients have recovered in North Carolina.

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