• Last modified 993 days ago (Sept. 9, 2020)


New cases send COVID total soaring to 97

Staff writers

With three new cases reported Tuesday — a teenage boy, a woman in her 40s, and a man in his 60s — Marion County's COVID-19 total continues to rise at a record pace.

As colleges and schools begin classes and sports, the number of COVID-19 cases in the county has soared to 97, rising at twice its previous record pace.

In the past two weeks, a record 34 new cases have been reported, including four on Sunday, one on Friday, five on Thursday, and two on Wednesday.

The 2.69 new cases per day since Aug. 25 is nearly double the previous record rate of new cases per day recorded immediately after county commissioners voided a statewide mandate to wear face coverings in public.

Sunday's new cases were all young men -- three in their 20s and one in his teens. Friday's new case was identified as a man in his 40s. All five of the new cases revealed Thursday were people in their 20s — one woman and four men.

Some of the new cases were confirmed by laboratory tests. Others involved patients who developed symptoms after being exposed to a known COVID victim. In such situations, tests are considered unnecessary, though they cases somewhat confusingly are classified as probable rather than confirmed.

As of Tuesday evening, health officials said, 21 cases remained active — meaning patients were being isolated or treated for symptoms. None were reported to be hospitalized. Incomplete data are available, but the number of active cases was thought to be a record.

In total, 1,640 COVID-19 tests have been done in the county with 1,543 negative results.

The county’s infection rate per 1,000 people now stands at 8.2, up 2.1 from where it stood a week ago.

An increase of more than 1.0 in any seven-day period is enough to qualify for inclusion on a federal list of counties rated as “red zones” for rising COVID-19 infection rates.

Some localities nationwide have adopted requirements that anyone returning from a visit to a “red zone” county must be quarantined for two weeks before resuming normal activities.

See also earlier story about quarantine of school officials.

Last modified Sept. 9, 2020