As some improve, Rowan County remains in ‘critical’ tier for COVID-19

Published 6:26 pm Thursday, February 4, 2021

SALISBURY — About two dozen counties on Thursday moved out of the state’s worst, or “critical,” tier in the county alert system, but Rowan was one of dozens that did not.

In its biweekly update of the system, 61 counties remained in the critical tier, 33 were in the middle, or substantial, tier and six were in the lowest category of “significant.” That compares favorably to two weeks ago, when there were 86 “critical,” 13 “substantial” and one “significant” county.

“North Carolinians are working hard to protect one another and we’re seeing the results, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said during a news conference.

Rowan remained in the “critical” category because of its number of positives per capita reported in the previous 14 days (896.6 per 100,000) as well as the percent of cases returning positive during the same period (14.2%).

All of Rowan’s neighboring counties also are in the “critical” category.

In local statistics, the county officially attributed 150 new positives to Thursday’s report, which is among the top 10 for positives reported in a day.

Rowan County now counts 12,744 positives since the start of the pandemic, with 4,167 reported in 2021.

Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported Thursday — both of which occurred outside of congregate living facilities such as assisted living or nursing homes. There have now been 254 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Rowan County, with 114 of those in congregate living facilities.

The number of Rowan County residents hospitalized remained unchanged Thursday at 29.

The weekly addition of negative tests increased the number of total tests by nearly 4,200 — from 113,131 to 117,322.

Across the state Thursday, there were 5,495 newly reported positives, 2,630 people hospitalized, 9,728 total deaths and 781,802 total positives. There have been 9.08 million completed tests in North Carolina.