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County to administer nearly 1,700 vaccines this week

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Health Department will have 1,670 vaccines to administer this week, including 700 for which local educators will be eligible.

The department will have a first dose clinic Thursday, which was rescheduled because of winter weather and shipment delays last week. Appointments for that event are already full.

Saturday is the health department’s first vaccination event during which PreK-12 and early childcare professionals can receive a shot. Appointments for that event will be 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and can be claimed at rowancountync.gov/1671/First-Dose-Clinics starting today. Also eligible are people 65 and older as well as health care workers.

A drive-thru clinic for second doses will continue as scheduled on Wednesday, but people will be notified in advance by the Rowan Health Department if it’s time to receive the next shot.

Rowan County spokesperson Amy Smith said the Health Department on Monday received all of its shipment for this week, which includes the 1,670 doses. Novant Health staff at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA and the Salisbury VA are also administering vaccines regularly in Rowan County.

The new vaccines will add to the 13,540 first doses and 6,918 second doses administered to Rowan County residents. For percent of population, Rowan County ranks better than Cabarrus and Davidson and below other neighboring counties.

In Rowan, 43.65% of people 75 and older have received their first dose and 39.4% of those 65 to 74 have received a second dose, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. However, those numbers do not include people vaccinated through the federal government’s nursing home and assisted living program or the Salisbury VA.

Statewide, 116,062 first doses and 71,131 second doses have been administered, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. About 53% of the state’s residents 75 and older have received their first shot and 45% of those 65 to 74 have received their second shot, which puts Rowan below statewide averages.

The state on Monday also updated its county alert system, which showed a significant improvement from 61 “red” counties to just 27. Rowan County, however, was one of the 27. So were Iredell and Davidson counties. Other neighboring communities were “orange.”

Rowan County remained in the “red,” or critical, category because of its positives per capita in the previous two weeks — 812 per 100,000 — and 11.1% positive rate. The threshold for “red” counties is 200 positives per 100,000 in the previous two weeks and 10% of tests returning positives or a high impact on hospitals.

While the county remained “red,” COVID-19 metrics have improved, with just 46 new cases reported on Monday. There were no new deaths, and the county remained at 269 fatalities.

In Rowan County’s region, the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, there were 340 people hospitalized with COVID-19 Monday, including 30 admitted in the previous 24 hours.

Statewide, there were 2,133 new positives and 1,567 people hospitalized. The state also reports a total of 844,770 total positives and 10,934 total deaths.

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