Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread

Published 8:17 pm Friday, April 16, 2021

SALISBURY — A biweekly update to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ county alert system map shows Rowan County remaining in a middle category for community spread of COVID-19.

Rowan is one of 48 counties in the “significant” category, which requires at least 20 new COVID-19 positives per 100,000 in the previous two weeks and either a 5-7.9% positive rate or a medium impact on local hospitals.

Rowan County’s number of new positives in the previous two weeks is 285 per 100,000 residents. The percent of tests returning positive is 7.2%. The state categorizes the impact on local hospitals as “slight.”

With the exception of Davie, all surrounding counties are also in the “significant” category. Davie is one level worse, in the “substantial” category because of its number of positives per 100,000 residents and the percent of tests returning positive.

Only one county in the state — Edgecombe, which is in the eastern part of the state — is in the “critical” category. One county, Lenoir, also stands alone in the “low” category, which is the best for community spread.

In a news release Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said North Carolina wants to see trends in cases, hospitalizations and percent of positive tests decline again. The news release described COVID-19 trends as level.

The best way to improve trends is to have “as many people as possible get vaccinated as quickly as possible and keep wearing our masks when out in public,” Cohen said.

In Rowan, 32,957 people, or 23.2% of the residents, have been vaccinated with at least one dose. Of those, 24,268 people, or 17.1%, are considered fully vaccinated because they’ve received a second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson variety.

Rowan County’s vaccination numbers remain worse than most in the state as well as worse than all neighboring counties.

There have now been 16,167 COVID-19 positives since the start of the pandemic and 299 deaths. There were no new COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan County this week.