PRINCETON — Gibson County’s COVID-19 community spread metric increased from the lowest level (blue) last week to minimal or moderate spread (yellow) Wednesday.

Indiana State Health Department’s updated data shows the county’s seven-day positivity rate among unique individuals at 9%, and seven-day positivity rate for all tests administered at 6.1%. In the first week of the mapping, Gibson County was rated “orange” for moderate to severe spread, then downgraded to “yellow,” for minimal to moderate spread and further downgraded to “blue” for minimal spread, before an uptick in cases changed the rating again to minimal to moderate spread.

Twelve new cases were reported in the county Wednesday for a total 425 cases and four deaths since early March, among 5,074 people tested. Some 6,753 total tests have been administered since the pandemic began.

Statewide, ISDH reported 624 new cases Wednesday and a total 107,809 cases among 1.26 million people tested across Indiana since early March.

In this area, Knox County reports 448 cases and nine deaths among 5,013 people tested; Daviess County reports 612 cases and 27 deaths among 4,948 people tested; Pike County reports 131 cases and one death among 1,706 people tested; Dubois County reports 914 cases and 18 deaths among 7,903 people tested; Warrick County reports 1,033 cases and 34 deaths among 12,750 people tested; Vanderburgh County reports 3,134 cases and 25 deaths among 40,830 people tested; and Posey County reports 284 cases among 3,929 people tested.

In Southeastern Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 57 cases each in Edwards and Hamilton Counties, 68 cases and two deaths in Gallatin County, 125 cases and four deaths in Richland County, 135 cases and one death in Wabash County, 150 cases in White County, 220 cases and three deaths in Saline County, 225 cases and five deaths in Wayne County and 237 cases and one death in Lawrence County.

During his weekly COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb declined to say whether he would extend a mask mandate next week. “It would be irresponsible for us to move that far down the road...I feel good about the direction we’re heading,” he said, but noted, “The virus hasn’t changed. It is still uber-infectious, it is still ravaging different parts of the country.”

Holcomb said it’s necessary “to take this longterm view of what needs to be done so that we can remain open. You mask up to stay open. If you care about Main Street, if you care about the economy — I don’t like ‘em (masks) either, but it is just a fact of life right now.”

ISDH Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said officials are working to have a data dashboard of school COVID-19 cases ready for use by Sept. 30. Box said that nearly half of the new COVID-19 cases are among those ages 0-19 and 20-29. “We need our young Hoosiers to understand they are not without risk,” she said. “Peer-to-peer transmission is occurring more frequently among teenagers and young adults.”

During the briefing, Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness also reported that the Community Crossings matching grant program, which was paused in July, is accepting applications from Sept. 25-Oct. 23. Awards should be announced in mid-November.

Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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