State’s COVID-19 alert system puts Rowan one away from best tier

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2021

SALISBURY — When state health officials updated the county alert system for COVID-19 on Thursday, Rowan County was just one step away from being among the best performing in the state.

Largely caused by decreases in the number of positives reported daily, Rowan County found itself in the “moderate,” or light yellow, tier, the second-best in the state’s COVID-19 county alert system. Five counties found themself in the “low impact,” or green, tier. There were 45 in the same tier as Rowan.

The tiers are determined through a combination of number of new positives, percent of tests returning positive and impact on hospitals.

The update showed 131.6 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in the previous two weeks in Rowan County. The percent of cases returning positive in the previous two weeks is 4.7%. Local hospitals are only slightly impacted by COVID-19, according to the alert system.

Of neighboring communities, only Stanly County is in the same tier as Rowan. Most neighboring communities are one tier worse — in the “significant,” or yellow, category.

If the percent of tests returning positive drops below 3% or the impact on local hospitals improves further, Rowan county could move into the state’s best tier for COVID-19 spread.

In other local COVID-19 data:

• Rowan County has seen 17,026 positives reported since the start of the pandemic and 306 deaths. No new deaths were reported Thursday.

• Hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region on Thursday were 152, a number that’s steadily decreased in the previous month.

• The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says there are two outbreaks at congregate living facilities — the N.C. State Veterans Home on the campus of the Salisbury VA and Hands LLC, a residential care facility. The state continues to count a cluster at Granite Quarry Elementary School as active, too.