COVID-19 cases in Rowan close to doubling prior peak

Published 6:20 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2022

SALISBURY — Local COVID-19 cases are close to doubling the peak during the delta variant spike in late summer.

The highest daily case total in Rowan County prior to the omicron variant’s spread came on Aug. 23 after 314 tests conducted on that date came back positive. Then, the delta variant was most prevalent in the county. Now, omicron, the most quickly spreading variant yet, accounts for nearly all COVID-19 cases.

Evidence of the rapid spread, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services data show 557 tests conducted on Jan. 10 have returned positive — a record for the county. State cases have also reached new records during the current spike, with 42,395 tests conducted on Jan 10 returning positive. The number of tests reported in a day topped 588 for Rowan on Tuesday, but those tests may have been conducted on different days.

While Jan. 10 was the state and local record on Tuesday, it’s likely that other days will top the total as N.C. DHHS assigns newly positive cases to the date the test occurred.

Swaths of daily cases include people who have tested positive for a second or subsequent time — thousands across the state and dozens in the county. Rowan County Health Director Alyssa Harris said unvaccinated people are 70% of new cases in the county, but a majority of the county’s residents also are unvaccinated.

Adjusted for population, the number of Rowan County COVID-19 cases in the previous two weeks is higher than all neighboring counties except Stanly.

In other COVID-19 news:

• The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday also started accepting orders for four free at-home COVID-19 tests. They are being shipped only to residential addresses and include four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. The U.S. Postal Service says the kits will start shipping in late January. Visit special.usps.com/testkits for more information.

• One-third of tests conducted in North Carolina for COVID-19 are returning positive. Rowan County’s number, 34.2%, is slightly above the state average.

• There are 4,630 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state compared to 1,611 one month ago.

• In Rowan County’s hospital region, the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, 1,043 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 Tuesday compared to 453 one month ago. Of those, 191 people in the region were in intensive care with COVID-19.

• 15 Rowan County residents have died from COVID-19 since the start of the year. NCDHHS says 515 county residents have died from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

• Data show 65,180 Rowan Countians (46%) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 60,408 (43%) are considered fully vaccinated and 22,596 (16%) have received a booster.

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