Elected leaders, health professionals address COVID-19 uptick in Vanderburgh Co.

Elected leaders, health professionals address COVID-19 uptick in Vanderburgh Co.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - More than two dozen additional coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Vanderburgh County.

The 27 cases reported Thursday were 10 higher than Wednesday’s numbers, which recorded 17 new COVID-19 cases.

As these newly released numbers continue to rise, state leaders have stalled reopening plans.

“No politician, no officer holder in the country, wants to mandate anything,” County Commissioner Jeff Hatfield stated. “But we need everyone’s help.”

Deaconess data shows a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. The graph presented dates back to the week of March 8.

More testing is a contributing factor in the jump, according to Deaconess Health System President Dr. James Porter.

“The trajectory that we’re seeing is certainly in the wrong direction and we want people to take action now,” Dr. Porter explained.

Another measurement tracked is the percent of positivity.

Dr. Porter explained these numbers went from 3% positive tests about four weeks ago to 8.2% this week, which is a more than a double increase.

Medical experts are also tracking the percentage of positive patients being hospitalized.

“We had it in nursing homes back here and that’s a big driver for people requiring hospitalization,” Dr. Porter added. “We’ve mostly got it under control in the nursing homes; but as other people in the community get infected, the risk that we take it back into our skilled nursing facilities and other vulnerable populations also goes up.”

Dr. Kenneth Spear with the Vanderburgh County Health Department pointed out there is an overall shift in the age in those positive cases, which is creating challenges for tracers because younger people generally have more contacts.

“There is no way we can keep up with it locally anymore; we’re being inundated,” Dr. Spear told 14 News.

When it comes to wearing a face mask, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says he hopes it does not come to the point where it’s required like in Indianapolis, but added the safety measure is a personal responsibility.

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