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Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301

SALISBURY — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday incorrectly reported Rowan County’s 302nd death from COVID-19, according to local health officials.

The death total reported Monday was reduced to 301 on Tuesday. Interim Health Director Alyssa Harris said 301 is correct. It wasn’t clear why the death total increased for one day, but a spokesperson for NCDHHS on Tuesday said data on the agency’s dashboard are subject to change.

“County case information may change once further case investigations are done and residence is verified,” the agency said in its statement. “Cases may shift from one county to another if further investigation verifies a different county of residence for an individual.”

At 301, Rowan County’s death total from COVID-19 remains higher than 92 of the state’s 100 counties. The seven with higher death totals all have larger populations — Wake, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Forsyth, Cumberland, Catawba and Buncombe counties.

Harris said the two most recent deaths in the county have been from outside of congregate living facilities such as nursing homes or assisted living.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported 340 positives in the county in the previous two weeks, including no cases Tuesday, but the Rowan Health Department said its data showed six new positives for Tuesday. Whether at six or zero, the number of positives reported Tuesday is the lowest in many months. New positive cases have largely been steady and remained in double digits since a peak in January.

In other COVID-19 data

• The state on Tuesday reported 56 new first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered as well as 191 completed vaccinations.

• Hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region — the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition — were 214 on Tuesday, which was a slight increase from 206 the day prior.

• NCDHHS reported 699 positives across the state on Tuesday which was the lowest since 610 were reported on Oct. 4.

• The percent of people vaccinated with at least one dose in North Carolina is 40.2%. Of those, 35.3% are considered fully vaccinated.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 46% of the country’s population has received at least one dose and 34.8% is fully vaccinated.

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