Vanderburgh County sees steep rise in COVID-19 cases

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Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:43 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Vanderburgh county, with Tuesday’s report showing 238 new positive cases and Wednesday’s showing 542. That’s the highest single day total of the pandemic so far.

[Related: Ind. reports 542 new COVID cases in Vanderburgh Co., high numbers in other counties]

Joe Gries, the administrator of the Vanderburgh County Health Department, says the majority of cases in Indiana are Omicron.

”If you look at the history of different surges of the different variants, this one does have a steeper incline and it does seem to be going up a lot faster,” said Gries. “If you look at the state numbers as well, that tends to mirror what we’re seeing here locally.”

The variant is surging throughout the country, with over one-million COVID cases reported in the US on Monday.

”Omicron tends to spread a lot more easily so there’s a good possibility of increased cases in the near future,” said Gries.

That increase in cases has led to an added need for COVID tests, unfortunately they’re becoming harder to find.

”So right now there is a little bit of a wait time if you’re getting a PCR test. I know some of the lines have been long here and I think throughout the state. There’s a limited supply of rapid tests,” said Gries.

But Gries says there is a silver lining to this new and prevalent variant.

“Omicron doesn’t seem to effect people maybe as much as far as the severity of the illness, but everybody is different and some people are still seeing symptoms and getting sick,” said Gries.

Gries says the best defense against serious illness from the virus remains vaccination, wearing a mask, and staying home if you are sick until you can get a COVID test.

State Health Officials announced Tuesday, rapid tests at state and local health department testing sites will only be available to people 18 and younger and symptomatic individuals aged 50 and older.

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