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Daily COVID-19 positives remain low

SALISBURY — The number of daily COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan County remains low as vaccinations administered continues to rise.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday reported a total of 27 new COVID-19 positives and a total of 218 vaccinations, including 98 first doses and 120 second doses.

The positive cases reported on a daily basis are significantly outpaced by the number of vaccines being administered. While there have been 449 positives reported in the county in the previous two weeks, Rowan Health Department workers and volunteers on Thursday alone plan to administer 740 Moderna vaccines, said spokeswoman Amy Smith.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says 17,124 Rowan residents have been partially vaccinated (at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine) and 11,540 have been fully vaccinated (both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). That’s 12.1% of Rowan County residents partially vaccinated and 8.1% fully vaccinated.

The state’s data does not include people vaccinated through the Salisbury VA or the federal government’s program in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The Salisbury VA Health Care System, which includes facilities in Charlotte and Kernersville, has partially vaccinated more than 17,000 people and fully vaccinated more than 9,600.

The Salisbury VA says it will have a mass vaccination event on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a goal of administering 1,000 vaccines each day. Veterans can schedule a vaccination by calling 800-706-9126.

“Each event we’ve hosted has run ahead of schedule,” said Dr. Randall Gehle, acting chief of staff for the Salisbury VA. “We have assembled a dedicated staff that wants to be here to help vaccinate veterans. They’ve had experience at our previous vaccination events and they’ve gotten quite good at it. We want to vaccinate as many of our veterans as possible and do it as quickly as possible. At this point, with millions of people vaccinated, safety is no longer a question.”

There was no change on Wednesday in the number of deaths in Rowan County — 291.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region — the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition — was 241, including 32 in the previous 24 hours.

Congregate living outbreaks have decreased in the county, too. The state now counts four facilities as having active outbreaks, including Big Elm Retirement in Kannapolis, Brightmoor Nursing Center in Salisbury, Compass Assisted Living in Spencer Elmcroft of Salisbury and the Rowan County Detention Center.

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