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For first time since February, Rowan records two COVID-19 deaths in one day

SALISBURY — The two-week COVID-19 case total in Rowan County topped 500 on Thursday as state health officials also reported two new local deaths from the coronavirus.

The two deaths occurred Tuesday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Both deaths were molecular positives, meaning they were confirmed cases of COVID-19 rather than probable cases. They were two of the 24 deaths reported statewide Thursday.

It’s the first time since February that one day produced multiple COVID-19 deaths among Rowan residents.

There have been 318 COVID-19 deaths in the county since the start of the pandemic, which remains among the highest totals in the state. Only Buncombe (329), Cumberland (339), Forsyth (432), Gaston (447), Guilford (738), Mecklenburg (995) and Wake counties (749) have seen more deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Rowan County COVID-19 cases on Thursday also increased by their sharpest total in months, 71, and raised the number of new positives reported in the previous two weeks to 516.

When adjusted for population, the two-week total falls somewhere in the middle of neighboring counties. It’s worse than Iredell and Davidson and better than Davie, Cabarrus and Stanly counties.

There have been 18,057 COVID-19 positives in the county since the start of the pandemic.

In other statistics reported Thursday:

• COVID-19 hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region, an 18-county area known as the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, increased from 323 to 338. More people are in intensive care with COVID-19 in the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition (84) than any other region in the state. Next is the Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, which includes Charlotte, at 80.

• About 13.6% of tests are coming back positives in Rowan County, which is higher than the state average

• The number of Rowan residents vaccinated with at least one dose is 45%. About 41% are considered fully vaccinated. Both percentages are unchanged from Wednesday.

• 4,331 new COVID-19 positives were reported Thursday, which is the highest number of cases reported in months.

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