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Darts and Laurels: Livingstone’s efforts in COVID control paying off

Laurel to Livingstone College for putting in place aggressive testing and infection control measures for a return to classes.

The college tested all staff and students, decontaminated the campus with electrostatic sprayers and applied an antimicrobial finish to surfaces. To date, those efforts have meant just two positive COVID-19 cases on the campus — one being an asymptomatic student and the other being a staff member.

The college’s efforts have been more effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19 than nearby institutions — Catawba College and Pfeiffer University.

In an online dashboard, Pfeiffer reports 36 total cases, with seven active. Catawba has seen 14 infections — 11 students and three staff members. Those are also good totals compared to total student and staff populations, but not as good as Livingstone.

Is it possible that there are uncounted students or staff members in Livingstone’s total? Perhaps. But the same is also true at Pfeiffer and Catawba.

Livingstone Chief Operating Officer Anthony Davis says that the campus is safe because it is following proper measures, not because the virus isn’t present. So far, that appears to be the case.

Laurel to continued change in downtown Salisbury — in particular, developments on Innes Street.

At 112-114 E. Innes St., Barnhardt Jewelers is creating a store and apartments. Meanwhile, steel at 201 E. Innes St. has formed the bones of a two-story building that will have office and residential space. Off of West Innes Street, work continues to build Salisbury’s central park — Bell Tower Green.

For daily commuters, travelers or anyone else passing through, the developments show a positive image of a city that’s growing. It’s nice to drive down Innes Street and see ongoing construction on both sides of the road.

While there are still vacant storefronts in downtown, hopefully new development can help attract businesses to existing spaces and be the catalyst to renovate dated building in need of some interior work.

Dart to the grim reality that Rowan County remains near the top of the list for most COVID-19 deaths in the state.

As of Saturday, Rowan County was fourth for most deaths, with 107. Only larger population counties of Guilford, Wake and Mecklenburg have more deaths.

True, the deaths have mostly occurred in nursing homes and among older Rowan County residents. However, everyone has a part to play in keeping COVID-19 deaths to minimum. It’s as simple as wearing a face covering, putting physical distance between yourself and others in public places, avoiding large gatherings and being clean, which includes washing your hands on a regular basis. Following the same steps could also keep the severity of this year’s flu outbreak to a minimum, health officials say.

You or a family member may not become seriously ill after contracting COVID-19, but you could pass it along to someone at a higher risk or someone who’s regularly in contact with people of advanced age or underlying conditions. COVID-19 has ravaged nursing homes, regardless of whether they have good track records or a history of problems.

Until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, it’s critical to take health precautions for the benefit of everyone.

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