Rowan County averaging triple-digit COVID-19 case increases

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

SALISBURY — State data show an average of more than 100 new COVID-19 cases per day in Rowan County.

In the previous two weeks, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has reported 1,428 new COVID-19 cases among Rowan County residents, including 132 positives on Thursday. The two-week number has increased as triple-digit positives have become more common.

Adjusted for population, Rowan County’s two-week total is larger than any of its neighbors and among the highest in the state.

Because of the large number of positives, the Rowan County Health Department says it’s working to prioritize cases, with a specific focus on congregate living facilities such as nursing homes because the delta variant is more infectious than previous iterations of COVID-19.

The department recommends people who are feeling symptoms of the virus or who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person get tested and stay home while awaiting test results. The following are symptoms that can appear two to 14 days after exposure:

• Fever or chills

• Cough

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Tiredness

• Muscle or body aches

• Headache

• New loss of taste or smell

• Sore throat

• Congestion or runny nose

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhea

The following are some of the locations where COVID-19 testing is available in Rowan County:

• Fastmed Clinic at 1361 Klumac Road in Salisbury. Call 704-603-1175 for an appointment.

• Moose Pharmacy of Salisbury at 1408 West Innes St. Testing is conducted 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Call 704-636-6340 for an appointment.

• Novant Health clinic at 1904 Jake Alexander Blvd. West. Testing is available every day. Call 704-638-1551 for an appointment.

• Rowan County Health Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Testing is provided by Logistics Health Incorporated. People are asked to visit to book an appointment.

Data say about 19.3% of tests conducted in the county are coming back positive, which is higher than the state average and also among the highest in North Carolina.

The case increases have produced increases in hospitalizations across the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, which includes Rowan County. Data reported by hospitals to federal health officials show 179 of 269 inpatient beds occupied at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center for the week of Aug. 5. The same data show 21 of 22 intensive care beds occupied.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the county remained at 327 on Thursday.

First doses of vaccinations among Rowan County residents improved by 1% on Thursday — from 46% to 47%. That’s about 66,108 people with a first dose. About 60,225 people, or 42% of the population, are fully vaccinated.