Four new Rowan County COVID-19 deaths bring total to 20 in August

Published 6:00 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

SALISBURY — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported four new COVID-19 deaths among Rowan County residents, making the total 20 this month.

The new deaths occurred Tuesday, Aug. 17, and Wednesday. Both days saw two Rowan County residents die from COVID-19, according to state data.

The new fatalities bring the county to 336 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Rowan County remains No. 8 in North Carolina for COVID-19 deaths, behind Buncombe County, which contains Asheville and has seen 340 deaths.

Because of the spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19, August is on track to be the deadliest month for COVID-19 since January, when there were dozens of fatalities and 19 deaths in one week.

Regional hospitalizations, which cover 18 counties known as the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalitions, continued to increase in Monday’s update. With 773 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, Rowan County’s region is No. 1 in the state, just ahead of the Metrolina region, which includes Charlotte, at 750.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care in the Triad region is 206, according to state data. That’s also worst in the state.

Individual hospital data reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hadn’t been updated Monday afternoon. Last week, data showed 21 of 22 intensive care beds occupied and 176 of 269 total beds occupied at Rowan Medical Center. However, Novant Health said it has plans in place that can increase the hospital’s capacity.

The number of COVID-19 cases on Monday since the start of pandemic passed 20,000, including 1,563 in the previous two weeks and 154 reported on Monday alone.

Tests coming back positive also hit 20% — a number that’s been steadily increasing and remains above the state average of 13%.

Vaccinations on Monday remained flat — 47% of all Rowan County residents with at least one dose and 43% fully vaccinated.