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Rowan County’s COVID-19 death toll tops 40 for September

SALISBURY — Now 24 days through September, Rowan County has seen at least 44 residents die from COVID-19, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data.

The deaths come as fewer people are testing positive for COVID-19 in Rowan County than late August or early September, when the delta variant created the worst spike in cases since vaccines became widely available.

Deaths have come most frequently in the previous two weeks. Sept. 12 is currently the deadliest day from the most recent surge in cases. Then, six Rowan County residents died from COVID-19, according to NCDHHS. Data show 20 people died from COVID-19 from Sept. 12 through Sept. 17.

COVID-19 has claimed the life of 392 Rowan County residents since the start of the pandemic, which makes it seventh in the state. Eighth is Buncombe County, with 385 deaths. Sixth is Cumberland County, with 417 deaths.

NCDHHS data on COVID-19 fatalities in the county doesn’t list any that occurred after Sept. 21.

The percent of people vaccinated in Rowan County with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is 50%. About 46% of people who live in the county are fully vaccinated.

In addition to first and second doses, Novant Health is now offering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for specific populations in Salisbury. Booster shots should be received at least six months after the primary series.

People OK’d to receive booster doses include:

• those 65 and older

• those in long-term care settings

• those 18-64 with underlying medical conditions

• people 18-64 who are at increased risk for exposure because of their job or institutional setting

Novant Health is offering booster doses only for eligible individuals at its vaccination clinic in the J.F. Hurley YMCA in Salisbury, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. West from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. While walk-ins are OK at the YMCA for first and second doses, people must make an appointment for a booster shot. They can do so by accessing their MyChart account, visiting their primary care provider or calling 855-648-2248

People can find other locations to get vaccinated by visiting covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.

In other COVID-19 data reported by NCDHHS:

• 1,206 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rowan County in the previous two weeks, including 69 cases reported on Friday. That’s better than all neighboring counties except for Cabarrus.

• The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rowan County’s region is 794, which is down from 885 at the start of the month and a peak on Sept. 9 of 922.

• The percent of tests returning positive in Rowan County is now 14.7%, which is down from more than 20% at the start of the month.

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