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UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

SALISBURY — Eight new COVID-19 deaths and 203 new positives were reported in Rowan County this week.

The numbers bring total deaths to 290 since the start of the pandemic and 117 since the start of the year. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services does not provide any additional information about deaths when they’re first reported.

For the 282 deaths for which data is available, 177 are 75 years or older, 51 are age 65 to 74, 26 are 50 to 64 and seven are 25 to 49. For the remaining 21 deaths, age data is not provided. Women and men both are 46% of deaths; no gender identity was available on the remaining.

The racial and ethnic breakdown of deaths is as follows: 77% white, 10% Black, 7% Hispanic, 4% other and 8% for which data is not available. One American Indian or Alaskan Native has died from COVID-19, according to state data.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 21 new local COVID-19 positives on Friday and 37 on Saturday, bringing the total to 203 this week and 499 in the previous two weeks (a number the state has used to implement or relax restrictions). The number of cases reported Friday is part of an ongoing decline across the state. There were 2,093 cases reported across North Carolina on Friday and 2,027 on Saturday.

Vaccination numbers are also continuing to improve. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported a local increase of 1,925 first doses administered this week. Second doses increased by 1,880 locally. About 11.36% of people have received a first dose in Rowan County and 6.91% have received a second dose.

The state says a majority of North Carolina residents 65 or older have received at least one dose, including 55% of those 65 to 74 and 60% of those 75 and older. In Rowan County, the numbers are lower, with 44.64% of those 65 to 74 vaccinated and 47.28% of those 75 and older.

Across North Carolina, 1,179 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, including 254 in Rowan County’s region — the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition.

The Salisbury VA, which serves veterans who live in other areas, has administered 16,363 first doses and completed vaccinations for 7,756 veterans. The health care facility said it will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting Monday. The vaccine is a single dose and will be offered to patients at its Kernersville and Charlotte locations.

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