Ask Us: If I received my vaccine in another county, is it recorded in Rowan?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to askus@salisburypost.com.

SALISBURY — A reader asked if the record of her vaccination was recorded in Rowan, her county of residence, or in Cabarrus County, where she received the vaccine.

The reader noted many of her friends that live in Rowan County received their doses in other counties as well and wanted to know if this would skew vaccination rates.

Rowan County Health Director Alyssa Harris said the data recorded by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has been updated to accurately reflect vaccinations by county of residence rather than the county where the vaccine was administered.

Harris noted data from the Department of Defense, which records vaccinations at the W.G. “Bill” Hefner V.A. Medical Center, has been corrected as well.

In Rowan County 40% of people are fully vaccinated and 43% have received at least one dose. The state, by comparison, has an overall full vaccination rate of 55%, with 59% of the population having received at least one dose.

What can be done to stop people and mowing services from blowing grass and leaf debris into streets and gutters when there are no pickups?

This reader noted the refuse runs down streets and into storm drains.

Salisbury Public Works Director Craig Powers said the department works with the city’s code enforcement staff to deal with the issue and gives landscaping companies information about city ordinances and how the issue affects water quality.

Powers pointed to city code prohibiting discarding grass in streets. The city collects loose leaves for part of the year, but otherwise the waste needs to be contained in approved receptacles.

The city begins running leaf vacuums in mid-October and continues through March. Street sweepers collect debris during the rest of the year, but Powers said the city has had difficulty filling those positions for the past two years.

“We unfortunately cannot run our leaf vacuums all year,” Powers said.

Public Works Administrative Services Manager Michael Hanna said the debris affects water quality by increasing the nutrient levels in streams. That can lead to algae blooms that lower the dissolved oxygen in the water. It can kill aquatic wildlife that depend on the oxygen in the water to breath.

“It does impact the whole watershed,” Hanna said.