State data show 310 deaths from COVID-19 in 2021

Published 2:19 pm Monday, January 3, 2022

SALISBURY — COVID-19 resulted in the deaths of at least 310 Rowan County residents in 2021.

The COVID-19 death toll is greater than 2020 and a majority of the 499 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. Spikes in deaths near the start of 2021 and because of the delta variant in the late summer produced most deaths last year, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Because it takes some time before COVID-19 fatalities are reflected in the state’s data portal, it’s possible more deaths from December will be added this week.

Data show COVID-19 deaths primarily occurring among people 65 and older. Though deaths have also occurred among young adults. In December alone, COVID-19 deaths ranged from 35 to 87 — all of whom were unvaccinated.

Vaccinations finished the year with 45% of Rowan County residents receiving at least one dose and 42% considered fully vaccinated.

Older age groups are the most vaccinated in Rowan County — with three-quarters of people 75 and older receiving at least one dose. The 5-11 age group is the least vaccinated — 8%.

Women are more likely to be vaccinated than men in Rowan County.

In other statistics:

• 19,845 of the 29,719 total COVID-19 positives in Rowan County occurred in 2021.

• With the omicron variant spreading, new cases have come faster in North Carolina than ever before, with three new records for daily cases in the previous week. There were 12,989 new cases reported across the state on Monday, which was down from a record of 19,620 on New Year’s Day.

• Hospitalizations are rising.

One month ago statewide hospitalizations were 1,220. They were 2,722 in Monday’s NCDHHS report.

Hospitalizations in Rowan County’s region — the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition — have risen from 331 one month ago to 712 on Monday.

• The percent of tests coming back positive is also increasing.

The statewide average is more than 25%. The local average is 21.5%.