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The original item was published from 9/14/2021 9:28:30 AM to 1/1/2022 12:00:03 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: September 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - September 14, 2021

For Immediate Release


COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800

Vaccine Information

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Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information:

What Does a High Percent Positive or Test Positivity Rate Mean for Rowan County?

As of yesterday afternoon, Rowan County’s percent positive or test positivity rate for over the past 14 days was down just a little to 20.2%. Although this is somewhat good news, Rowan County still has one of the highest test positivity rates in the state. So, what does this mean?

A positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive out of all of the tests that are completed within a county. Here in Rowan County, over the past 14 days, what that means is for every 5 people that have gotten tested for COVID at least 1 person has received a positive result.  On a scale of 100, 20.2% doesn't seem like a lot, but in epidemiological eyes it is. The levels of transmission and the seriousness of transmitting COVID to one another are as follows: 

  • "Low" transmission is considered no more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, or a test positivity rate of less than 5% 
  • "Moderate" transmission is 10 to 50 cases per 100,000 people, or a positivity rate between 5% and 8%
  • "Substantial" transmission is 50 to 100 cases per 100,000, or a positivity rate between 8% and 10%
  •  "High" transmission is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or higher

A positivity rate is definitely important to both local and state officials, especially when there are substantial or high levels of transmission. The higher the level of transmission or test positivity rate, the more it indicates the seriousness of community spread, the need for more testing, and the need for stricter restrictions. 

Simply put, there are two ways to lower the percent positive -- Reduce the amount of coronavirus transmission or increase the number of people who get tested. Fortunately, these two things often go hand-in-hand. If a community is doing more testing—and responding appropriately to positive tests, by making sure that people who might be contagious are isolated, for example—the amount of transmission should go down over time. But even without testing, measures such as everyone wearing masks out in public, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings are all effective ways to reduce transmission.

In closing and with our positivity rate still being so very high, Rowan County Public Health cannot emphasize to you enough about the importance of getting tested if you have any symptoms or if you have come in contact with someone that is COVID positive. Also, in addition to continuing to practice the 3Ws, we cannot emphasize to you enough about the importance of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. By visiting the  CDC’s vaccine finder, it can help you find a number of local agencies/businesses her in Rowan County that are offering the COVID vaccine and which type of vaccine that is being offered.


PIO Contact:
Amy Smith

Download Media Release COVID-19 - September 14, 2021 (PDF)

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