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April 23, 2021

After busy week for vaccinations, Rowan will return to base allocation

SALISBURY — Roughly 3,000 new first doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Rowan County last week.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday showed a total number of first doses that was 1,956 higher than one week earlier. That number didn’t include the nearly 1,000 doses that Rowan County Public Health Director Nina Oliver said workers planned to administer during a mass vaccination drive-thru at West End Plaza Saturday. Novant Health also held a vaccination event Saturday aimed at vaccinating minority residents in rowan County.

An “equity allocation” helped lift the number of first doses from just a few hundred last week. That allocation aims to balance the supply of vaccines for counties and communities that have fallen behind. Oliver said she expects to return to the 300-dose base allocation of first doses this week.

Second doses increased by 1,715 in Rowan County last week, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Not included in the total number of vaccines administered are doses from the Salisbury VA or from the federal government’s program for nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Oliver said county staff could pull statistics that include local residents who received vaccinations through the VA or nursing home program, but the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t report it daily on its website.

The Salisbury VA on Saturday topped 10,000 vaccinations administered, but many of those vaccinations have occurred at the health care system’s Kernersville or Charlotte facilities or among people who don’t live in Rowan County.

Another vaccination drive-thru will be held Monday at West End Plaza starting at noon. About 180 appointments were available Saturday evening. To sign up, people can visit rowancountync.gov/1671/First-Dose-Clinics or call 980-432-1800, but wait times may be long. The county encourages online sign-ups.

The state on Saturday also reported one new death from COVID-19, making seven reported last week and 265 since the start of the pandemic. Switching its focus to vaccinations, the Rowan County Health Department last week stopped maintaining a local dashboard of COVID-19 statistics. So, it wasn’t immediately clear Saturday whether any of those seven occurred inside of a congregate living facility.

On weekdays, the state updates data for dates on which deaths occurred, showing one on Sunday and two on Tuesday. Data for later in the week wasn’t available yet.

About 500 new COVID-19 positives were reported in Rowan County last week, with 95 coming on Saturday. The county has seen 1,251 positives in the previous two weeks and 14,165 since the start of the pandemic. Per capita, Rowan County continues to see more cases than its immediate neighbors. Though, it’s just 44 cases per 100,000 residents ahead of Davie County in the previous two weeks and 60 cases per 100,000 residents ahead of Iredell County.

Demographic data for positives show 72% since the start of the pandemic have been white, 15% have been Black or African American and 23% have been Hispanic. The plurality of cases have been in the 25-49 age group.

Of the 265 deaths in Rowan County, 78% have been white, 10% have been Black and 6% have been Hispanic. Most deaths have been in the 75+ age group.

An outbreak at the Rowan County Jail doubled in size last week, from 12 to 24 total cases. Of those, one case is an employee and 23 are inmates. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office says COVID-19-positive inmates are being kept in one dorm at the jail annex.

A number of congregate living outbreaks in Rowan County ended last week, including at the Citadel, Trinity Oaks, Brookdale and Bethamy Retirement Center. Trinity Oaks health and rehab was the largest of those outbreaks, with 192 total cases and 13 deaths, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Across the state, hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to decline, including in Rowan County’s region, the Triad Health Preparedness Coalition.

In the Triad region, there were 496 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday. Of those, 59 had been admitted in the previous 24 hours.

The state reported a 4,130 new positives on Saturday, 818,724 total positives, 2,101 people hospitalized and 10,453 total deaths.

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