Coronavirus takes top spots in most-read Post stories of 2020

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2021

As COVID-19 altered daily life in Rowan County and across the country, readers of the Post made virus-related stories the most-read in 2020.

Three of the top four stories and five of the top 10 were coronavirus-related. Other stories that were among the top 10 were about lottery winnings, crime and business changes.

The 10 most-read posts on in 2020 were as follows.

• No 1: “Rowan man who tested positive for COVID-19 describes how symptoms settled in quickly

This story, published March 22, described Rowan resident Doug Loeblein’s experiences with COVID-19. Loeblein became the second person to be identified as positive for coronavirus in Rowan County. The first was a Livingstone College student who returned home.

The story received 42,414 total page views.

• No. 2: “Local men split lottery winnings”

This story, published Jan. 9, reported that Joe Griffith and Walter Fyler of Salisbury planned to get a new home after they won $150,000. They bought their lucky scratch off tickets at Murphy Express on Freeland Drive in Salisbury.

The story received 38,406 page views.

• No. 3: “John Bream: outbreak at Citadel nursing home especially concerning”

This was an op-ed published April 20 written by John Bream, who was the medical director of the local hospital’s emergency department. In it, Bream wrote specifically about his concerns with an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Citadel nursing home and how the situation was being handled.

The op-ed received 29,267 page views.

• No 4: “Local nursing home site of COVID-19 outbreak”

This was the Post’s first news story about the Citadel outbreak in which nurses and staff members at the facility said that the ownership company wasn’t taking the outbreak seriously enough. The outbreak ended up being the largest in the state and resulted in 21 deaths.

The story received 27,890 page views.

• No. 5: “Police: Three found overdosed at Wendy’s with children in car”

This story, published Oct. 6 was a crime brief in which a woman called 911 to say two people she was with in a car was unconscious following an overdose. She managed to call police before she overdosed. A 2-year-old and 3-year-old were in the back seat.

The story received 19,211 page views.

• No. 6: “Police: Rockwell man kills firefighter, himself at Granite Quarry home of estranged wife”

This story, published Jan. 23, reported that a man named Andrew Lee Myers, 26, shot and killed Tyler William Hamilton, a 30-year-old Franklin firefighter.

The story received 19,179 page views.

• No. 7: “1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors”

This story, published Sept. 26, reported about a shooting incident that occurred on opening night for Reaper’s Realm in 2020. The Halloween attraction said that there was such a large crowd present because adults dropped off their children and left. All the people who faced charges were under the age of 18.

The story received 18,971 page views.

• No. 8: “County map shows zip codes of COVID-19 cases”

This story, published March 27, reported that the county released a zip code map of coronavirus positives in the county. Eventually, the state created a zip code map for the whole state. The county now updates the zip code map on its data hub on a daily basis.

This story received 16,017 page views.

• No. 9: “New owners to take over Tamarac Marina in June with plans for a facelift, other changes”

This story, published May 3, reported that Dan Black planned to sell the marina to longtime friend and fishing bait supplier Brad Beck and wife Michelle after owning the facility for 15 years.

This story received 15,722 page views.

• No 10: “Water’s Edge Dock and Grill owners hope to bring new life to High Rock Lake scene”

This story, published Jan. 23, reported the renovation plans made by downtown restaurant owners Mikey Wetzel and Todd Littleton for the High Rock Boat and Ski Club. The two businessmen gave the club a facelift and added a new venue on the lake.

This story received 15,678 page views.

Overall in 2020, the Post’s website received 16.65 million page views, of which 13.16 million were unique page views.

While total page views can include multiple visits by one device to one story, which is relevant if a story is updated with new information, unique page views do not count return visits by the same device (laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet).