COVID-19 deaths in Rowan County top 400 since start of pandemic

Published 3:31 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021

SALISBURY — State data on Wednesday showed eight new COVID-19 deaths among Rowan County residents.

The new deaths bring the death toll among Rowan County residents to 405 since the start of the pandemic, including more than 50 COVID-19 fatalities this month.

Rowan County remains seventh among the state’s 100 counties in total deaths, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Eighth is Buncombe County, which contains Asheville, with 391 deaths. Sixth is Cumberland County, which contains Fayetteville, with 430 deaths.

State and local health officials say a majority of COVID-19 deaths during the delta variant spike have been among unvaccinated people. While earlier deaths primarily were among people in the 75 and older age group, deaths in August and September have primarily occurred within the 65-74 age group.

In other COVID-19 data:

• The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to decline. In Rowan County’s region, there were 705 people hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday compared to 885 at the start of the month.

• About 13.4% of tests conducted in the previous two weeks have returned positive, according to NCDHHS. That’s produced 1,035 positives, which is better when adjusted for population than all neighboring counties but Cabarrus.

• NCDHHS data show 51% of the county’s population vaccinated with at least dose of a vaccine and 47% fully vaccinated.

• NCDHHS data show seven nursing homes in Rowan County have outbreaks still considered active. The largest of them is Compass Healthcare and Rehab Rowan in Spencer, which has seen nine staff cases, 33 resident cases and four resident deaths. Outbreaks are considered over 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the first date of specimen collection from the most recent asymptomatic person, whichever is later.

• Five residential care facilities in the county have outbreaks still considered active. The largest of them is Brookdale, which is off of Statesville Boulevard, with three staff cases and 10 resident cases.

• Just three K-12 schools in Rowan County have clusters that are still considered active: Southeast Middle School, Corriher Life Middle School and Isenberg Elementary School. A cluster is considered over 28 days after the most recent date of onset in a symptomatic person or the latest date of specimen collection in an asymptomatic person, whichever is later.