PRINCETON — Gibson County’s COVID-19 positivity rate increased over the past week, which keeps the county at the “red” designation for most severe community spread.

During his weekly briefing, Gov. Eric Holcomb said the first batch of vaccines to be administered to the general public would become available Friday to people age 80 and older. The governor noted that 52% of the COVID-19 deaths in Indiana are among that age demographic.

The next phase will be people age 70 and older, then those age 60 and older.

“We’re trying to get there as quickly as we can,” he said. Residents will be able to register with the local health department to make an appointment for vaccinations in each county, he said.

Indiana State Department of Health Chief Health Officer Dr. Lindsey Weaver said the vaccine roll-out includes a website at www.ourshot.in.gov where people who live or work in Indiana can find a vaccine site and register. Beginning Friday, she said, residents age 80 and older can also call 211 and request assistance for registration.

The state’s new dashboard tracking COVID-19 vaccinations shows 52,209 doses were administered statewide as of Tuesday, and 585 first doses were administered to Gibson Countians who work or volunteer in heath care and have contact with patients.

The ISDH daily case update shows 53 new COVID-19 cases reported in Gibson County Wednesday for a total 3,208 cases, including 55 deaths, among 11,811 people tested.

Wednesday, the county’s rolling seven-day positivity rate among all tests administered is 25.2%, and the rolling seven-day positivity rate among Gibson Countians tested for the first time is 45.2%. The seven-day all test positivity rate upon which the “red” advisory level is based was reported at 19.45%, which is higher than the previous week.

The Regenstrief Institute reports 211 Gibson County residents have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic, 206 have made emergency room visits related to the virus and 29 have been admitted to intensive care unit beds.

Over the past week, six Gibson Countians were hospitalized and six made emergency room visits.

The highest percentage of the county’s positive cases are in the age 20-29 bracket at 15.1%, while 14.8% are age 0-19, 14.6% ages 50-59, 14.3% ages 40-49, 13.8% ages 60-69, 13.3% ages 30-39, 7.3% ages 70-79 and 6.9% ages 80 and older.

While the lowest percentage of local cases are in the age 80 and older age bracket, 61.8% of the county’s COVID-19 related deaths are in that age group, while 29.1% are age 70-79, 7.3% are ages 60-69 and 1.8% ages 50-59.

Sixty-seven% of the county’s COVID-19 deaths are women, and 32.7% are men.

In the region, ISDH reports 17.4% of area hospitals’ 219 ICU beds are available, while 28.3% are occupied by COVID-19 patients and 54.3% occupied by non-COVID-19 patients.

In neighboring Indiana counties, Knox County reports 34 new cases for a total 3,030 cases including 39 deaths among 11,806 people tested; Daviess County 12 new cases for a total 2,375 cases including 69 deaths among 9,938 people tested; Pike County 16 new cases for a total 1,005 cases including 25 deaths among 4,094 people tested; Dubois County 55 new cases fora total 4,951 cases including 62 deaths among 16,264 people tested; Warrick County 107 new cases for a total 5,660 cases including 87 deaths among 26,634 people tested; Vanderburgh County 238 new cases including one new death for a total 16,711 cases including 207 deaths among 82,323 people tested; and 34 new cases for a total 2,062 cases including 26 deaths among 8,798 people tested.

Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com.

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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