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With two reported Tuesday, county averaging more than two COVID-19 deaths per day

SALISBURY — Local statistics show Rowan County averaging more than two COVID-19 deaths reported per day in 2021.

With two added Tuesday, Rowan County has seen 66 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the new year. The deaths have mostly been outside of nursing homes or congregate living facilities and made non-congregate deaths the majority during the entire pandemic.

Rowan County reports 238 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 130 occurring outside of congregate living facilities. The average age of COVID-19 deaths in Rowan is 78.

Local statistics show deaths inside of congregate living facilities are as follows:

• Accordius Health: Nine

• Autumn Care: 15

• Bethany Retirement: three

• Compass Assisted Living: Five

• Elmcroft: Five

• Liberty Commons: 16

• Meadows of Rockwell: two

• N.C. State Veterans Home: 16

• The Citadel: 21

• The Laurels: six

• Trinity Oaks: 10

Outbreaks at the W.G. “Bill” Hefner VA Medical Center nursing home, which has 10 cases and one resident death, and Best of Care Assisted Living in Enochville, which has 11 cases and one death, are not listed in local statistics. Similarly, at Piedmont Correctional Institute in Salisbury, there are 10 active cases.

Total COVID-19 positives increased by 97 on Tuesday, according to local statistics. There have been at least 2,885 COVID-19 positives in Rowan this year and 11,710 during the entire pandemic.

But there’s a major discrepancy between local and state statistics in the total number of positives. While the county admits its updates are a day behind, numbers on a dashboard maintained by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services show 766 more positives. Local and state statistics show the same number of deaths.

The reason for the discrepancy was not clear Tuesday.

Because of an increased workload caused by a spike in COVID-19 positives, the pace of recoveries came to a crawl near the end of 2020 and through the first couple weeks of this year. Health officials said the increased workload meant staff weren’t able to complete case investigations as quickly. However, the trend of fewer recoveries on Tuesday showed its first sign of turning around. At 122, Tuesday was the first triple-digit recovery day since mid-December.

There have now been at least 6,276 recoveries in Rowan County.

Statewide, the state of coronavirus is improving after a spike that followed the holidays. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,978 new positives on Tuesday and 3,368 people currently hospitalized. Both are part of a decreasing trend. There have been 8,776 deaths in North Carolina attributed to COVID-19.

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