COVID-19 indicators trending upward

By Adam Strunk

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away.

According to the Harvey County Health Department, there have been 50 new cases in the last two weeks.

Percent positives have continued to climb for three weeks and is at 4.65, as have active cases. Currently, 29 people are sick. Cases were in single digits a month ago.

“COVID is still in the community, and it’s still spreading through community spread,” Health Department Director Lynnette Redington said.

She said people loosening up on precautions with lower case numbers and more vaccinations has likely contributed to some of the spread.

“We still don’t have enough vaccinated where we’re all protected,” she said. “We’re seeing cases in the younger populations.”

Thirty of the recent cases have been under 40. Twelve have been under the age of 20.

Two cases are hospitalized.

The county also now has had five known instances of the more contagious U.K. variant of the disease.

The more contagious variants have been blamed on causing spikes in various states, such as Michigan.

On the vaccination side, while demand has decreased, Harvey County continues to outpace neighbors and most of the state in vaccination percentage of those over 16 with at least 51% of that group having received one dose.

“We’re getting vaccines in arms; there’s still a lot of vaccines to provide,” she said.

The county ranks ninth in the percentage of residents over 16 totally vaccinated at 442 individuals per 1,000.

Four-hundred-six out of 1,000 residents of all ages have been vaccinated.

The majority of those getting sick are coming from the non-vaccinated population.

Redington said that, of county cases, just three have occurred in people fully vaccinated. All three of those cases have included a mild illness. State numbers would show the county’s vaccinated population to number at least 14,000 people.

Redington said, in the future, she expected to have a breakdown of those ill based on if they’d been vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.

The county is undertaking steps to reach out to those yet to be vaccinated.

On Wednesday, May 4, it held a digital forum in which it invited medical professionals from Health Ministries and Newton Medical Center to answer questions submitted by users watching.

The forum took place at 6 p.m. and can be found on the Harvey County Now social media page on Facebook.

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