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Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

SALISBURY — Rowan County on Wednesday topped 300 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported the 301st death in Rowan County, the 129th this year and the first in May. The exact date and demographic information associated with the death wasn’t immediately clear because that information lags behind.

Rowan County continues to have more deaths and more deaths per capita than all neighboring counties. Only six counties have more COVID-19 deaths. All six are also larger in population. Catawba County on Wednesday was tied with Rowan at 301 deaths.

A majority of local deaths (62%) have been among residents 75 and older. The second-largest number of deaths have been among people aged 65 to 74. Women, at 48%, are a slightly larger percentage of deaths than men, 45%.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 27 new positive tests on Wednesday, and 396 in the previous two weeks. Adjusted for population, Cabarrus is the only neighboring county that’s seen more positives than Rowan County in the previous two weeks. Even with all adults eligible, vaccinations continue to move slowly in the county, with just 149 new first doses reported Wednesday. State and federal data show at least 43,172 people have received one dose of a vaccine, which is about 30.4% of the population.

Statewide, 39.5% of people have received at least one dose of a vaccination. Across the nation, 44.7% of people are vaccinated.

In other COVID-19 data:

• The percentage of tests returning positive across the state Wednesday was 5.6%. It was more than 10% in Rowan County.

• There were four congregate living outbreaks in Rowan County on Wednesday, including two resident cases at Hands LLC of Rowan, one staff and four resident cases at Deal Care Inn, three resident and two staff cases at Alpha Concord Plantation and three staff cases at the N.C. State Veterans Home on the campus of the Salisbury VA. There were no school clusters in the county despite a sharp increase in the number of cases in students.

• The number of people hospitalized in Rowan County’s region — the 18-county area known as the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition — was 215 on Wednesday. That’s seven fewer than the number reported Tuesday.

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