Rowan County COVID-19 cases approaching new pandemic peak

Published 2:21 pm Saturday, January 8, 2022

SALISBURY — With omicron spreading more quickly than previous COVID-19 variants, daily case totals in Rowan County are close to their highest point since the start of the pandemic.

In the previous two weeks, 2,155 Rowan County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. That period includes the second-highest daily increase — when 306 new COVID-19 cases were reported among Rowan residents on Jan. 3.

The highest daily total since the start of the pandemic was Aug. 23 when there were 314 new positives reported.

Regional hospitalizations (844) also are slightly below late August — when nearly 900 people were in the hospital with COVID-19 in the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition region. The region includes Rowan, Davidson, Davie, parts of Iredell and some or all of 14 other counties.

The Triad region has more people in intensive care with COVID-19 than any other in the state. The Metrolina region, which includes Charlotte, is first for total COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Novant Health said last week 396 of the 522 people hospitalized in its facilities for COVID-19 are unvaccinated. A similar trend is true for intensive care and life support, with most patients being unvaccinated. Atrium Health said last week 103 of the 106 people on life support for COVID-19 in its facilities are unvaccinated.

Vaccinations have improved slightly since the start of the year — from 45% to 46% of Rowan County residents with at least one dose. The percent of Rowan residents fully vaccinated remains 42% — worse than every neighboring county, according to NCDHHS.

Two Rowan County residents have died in 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19 — making 502 since the start of the pandemic. Rowan remains seventh in the state for most deaths since the start of the pandemic.

In other COVID-19 data:

• North Carolina broke its record Friday for most COVID-19 cases reported in a day, with 28,474. The previous record was Thursday when 24,292 new North Carolinians were reported positive

• 3,474 people were hospitalized across the state with COVID-19 on Friday, which reflects an increase from 1,418 one month earlier.

• About 30% of tests conducted in the previous two weeks have been positive, according to NCDHHS. Rowan County’s positive rate is 25.6%.

• Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show about 97.5% of new cases in North Carolina’s region are the omicron variant.