health department

Daviess County is getting caught in a wave of new COVID-19 cases sweeping across Indiana. Daviess County Health officials say the numbers are going up locally and it is not surprising.

“Our positivity rate has been creeping up,” said Daviess County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Kelli Streeter. “Our infections are climbing, especially in those who are not vaccinated.”

The latest statewide map on spread of the coronavirus has moved both Daviess and Martin counties out of the lowest threat of spreading the virus, “blue” to “yellow” which is the next highest level. Daviess County is reporting 188 cases of COVID/100,000 population with a rising positivity rate of 7.65%. Martin County’s numbers show 107 cases/100,000 population with a positivity rate of 1.32% and rising.

“There is a lot of COVID around us,” said Streeter. “There have been a lot of events that have brought people together and led to the disease spreading. The delta variant is highly transmissible. With children it can appear to be asymptomatic, so they can spread it even though they appear to not be sick.”

Knox, Greene and Dubois counties were among the 47 “orange” counties in the state. “Red” counties, which show the highest spread of COVID, now number eight, and include Gibson, Posey, Perry and Orange counties.

“We are now testing around 10 people per day,” said Streeter. “Our infections have been running around 15 every two days. About 80% of those are unvaccinated. The state has made it very clear that vaccinations are the answer to slowing down this pandemic and bringing the severity and spread under control.”

The delta variant of COVID has been very contagious among those who have not been vaccinated, but Daviess County residents and Hoosiers in general have not sought out the vaccinations which are available at pharmacies, doctor offices and the health department. The state vaccination rate is still around 50% while the rate in Daviess County is 33.8% this week.

“That is not great, but it is an improvement from the previous week,” said Streeter. “We have plenty of vaccine available here. We have both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.”

Other than the unvaccinated, the new cases in the county appear to have no common factor.

“The new cases are being reported from all over the county,” said Streeter. “It is not hitting any one particular group, and we have cases being reported that range from age 1 to 89.”

Daviess County has recorded around 3,200 COVID cases since the pandemic began and 101 deaths related to the virus. Martin County is closing in on 1,000 cases with 15 deaths. But health officials say unless a lot more people get vaccinated those numbers will continue to increase.

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