COVID-19 cases continue decline from omicron spike

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

SALISBURY — Daily case numbers have declined for a month, but new state and local COVID-19 positives remain slightly above pre-omicron levels.

The omicron variant first comprised a majority of regional cases in late December, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then, daily cases fell between a low of 22 and a high of 118 in Rowan County. February brought with it continually decreasing cases numbers, but they haven’t yet fallen to the early and mid-December range.

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services data show 1,327 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous two weeks. Adjusted for population, Rowan County’s number is better than Iredell and Davie counties and worse than other neighbors.

The peak of Rowan County’s omicron spike was Jan. 10, when 657 tests conducted later returned positive.

Statewide, there were 2,888 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday — roughly the same number as Dec. 21, when 2,894 cases were reported

The percent of tests returning positive in Rowan County is significantly above the state average despite a continued decline. The 14-day average of tests returning positive was about 24% on Tuesday. The state average is about 15%.

In other COVID-19 data:

• Rowan County Health Director Alyssa Harris says deaths continue to occur mostly among older age groups and people who are not vaccinated. Harris said Tuesday six people have died from COVID-19 since Feb. 10. The youngest was 68 years old. All had pre-existing health conditions that worsened their chances for a severe case of COVID-19. One was vaccinated. None of the six had received a booster shot.

• The number of Rowan County resident deaths since the start of the pandemic is 544. State data show 44 of the deaths have occurred in 2022.

• Data for Rowan Medical Center for late January, the latest available, show 190 of 269 inpatient beds occupied and 21 of 22 inpatient intensive care beds occupied, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

• Like daily cases, state date show a continued decline in hospitalizations — from more than 1,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rowan County’s region one month ago to less than 700 on Tuesday.

• 47% of Rowan County residents are vaccinated, 43% are fully vaccinated and about 17% have received a booster shot.