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COVID-19 cases continue decline as week brings 12 new deaths

SALISBURY — COVID-19 cases in Rowan County continued to decline last week as data showed 12 news deaths attributed to the virus.

Six of the deaths were reported Wednesday. Another six were reported Thursday. Together, they brought the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus this month to 20.

Rowan Health Director said eight of the 12 were unvaccinated. The eight had an average age of 65. Two were partially vaccinated with an average age of 67. Two were fully vaccinated, had severe health problems and had an average age of 81.

The 370 deaths in among Rowan county residents since the start of the pandemic ranks eighth among the state’s 100 counties.

The new deaths occurred as daily cases continued a slow decline. While Rowan was No. 1 in the state for cases per capita near the start of September, there are now several counties ahead of it.

In the previous two weeks, the average number of cases reported per day in Rowan County is about 117. That’s a decrease from 190 per day two weeks ago.

Hospitalizations haven’t decreased as quickly as new cases.

At the beginning of the month, there were 885 people hospitalized in the Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, which contains Rowan County. On Friday, there were 844 people hospitalized in the region. Numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show 22 of 22 intensive care beds in use at Rowan Medical Center and 182 of 269 total beds filled.

A majority of people 12 and older in Rowan County (53%) are fully vaccinated. For the entire population, which includes people for which vaccines have not been officially OK’d, 50% have at least one dose and 46% are fully vaccinated.

A greater percentage of Rowan County residents are fully vaccinated than Iredell, Davidson and Stanly counties.

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