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December 2, 2020

Two of four new COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday from one nursing home

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Elmcroft of Salisbury, an assisted living facility on Mooresville Road, was the site of two of the county’s four COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday, marking the first fatalities at the facility from the coronavirus.

One of Elmcroft’s two COVID-19 deaths was reported to the Rowan County Health Department last week on Oct. 15, but it wasn’t added to county data until Wednesday, said county spokesperson TJ Brown. Elmcroft is one of five sites with an outbreak in Rowan County. Other outbreaks include Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab, N.C. State Veterans Home, Liberty Commons and Accordius Health. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety shows 10 active cases at Piedmont Correctional Institute.

Wednesday’s additions bring the total number of deaths to 120, with all but 45 at local congregate care facilities. The average age among the deaths remains at 80.

Eclipse Senior Living, the organization that operates the various Elmcroft branches, did not respond to a request for comment from the Post by deadline Wednesday.

After 24 new cases reported in Rowan County on Wednesday, the county now ranks 19th in the state for COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents — a slight improvement from finishing last week ranked 17th in the state. Currently, 467, or 11% of the county’s 4,091 cases, are active; 86% of the total cases have recovered.

The average age among positive cases is 43.8, with the plurality, 29%, among those aged 18-35.

Nearly 25,800 cases across the state, or about 17%, and 2,179 deaths have been reported at nursing homes, residential care facilities and correctional facilities.

State health officials on Wednesday reported an additional 2,253 cases, with 266,136 cases reported since March. A total of 3.91 million tests have been completed, which amounts to a statewide percent positive rate of 6.9%.

A total of 1,193 people are currently being hospitalized for COVID-19, with 148 of those patients confirmed within the last 24 hours. Additionally, 4,245 people have died.

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 171, which strengthens eviction protections for North Carolinians as cases continue to rise, prompting many to continue remote work. The order supplements the state’s HOPE program enacted two weeks ago that pays landlords and utilities directly on North Carolinians’ behalf. The HOPE program and other available resources can be found by visiting nc211.org.

Cooper’s newest executive order is effective until Dec. 31 unless repealed, replaced or rescinded.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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