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Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

SALISBURY — While daily COVID-19 positives in Rowan County continue to remain below triple digits, the state reported three new local deaths on Wednesday.

The new deaths bring the total in Rowan County to 273 since the start of the pandemic and 100 since Jan. 1. Rowan continues to have more local deaths from COVID-19 than any neighboring county and slightly more than one-third have been in 2021.

Of those, 246 are considered molecular positives (confirmed cases) and 27 are antigen positives (probable cases according to federal guidance).

An estimated 64% (173) of the deaths have been among those older than 75. Meanwhile, 17% (47) have been between ages 65 to 74; 9%,(24) have been 50 to 64; and 2% (6) have been 25-49. Age data is not provided for 19 deaths.

An estimated 78% of the COVID-19 fatalities in Rowan County are among white residents, 10% are Black and 6% are Hispanic.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 47 new positives in Rowan County on Wednesday, which brought the total to 748 in the previous two weeks. Of neighboring communities, Rowan has seen more cases per capita than all but Stanly County in the previous two weeks.

Since the start of the pandemic, Rowan County has had 14,683 positives.

With no mass vaccination events yet this week, first doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Rowan County increased by just 30 on Wednesday, to a total of 13,640. Second doses increased by 53, to a total of 7,106. The numbers do not include people vaccinated by the Salisbury VA or through the federal government’s program for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

With those numbers, about 9.6% of Rowan County residents have received a first dose, which is better than Cabarrus and Davidson counties but below other neighbors.

Rowan County Health Department events for first doses are scheduled Thursday and Saturday. Appointments for both are already full. An event for second doses is Wednesday.

Hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region — the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition — were at 351 on Wednesday. Of those, 58 were admitted in the previous 41 hours.

Statewide, 3,346 new positives were reported Wednesday and 1,530 people were  hospitalized across the state. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 849,630 total positives and 11,074 deaths.

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