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24 new cases of COVID-19, one new death over the weekend

Upwards of 35 percent of people testing positive locally are asymptomatic

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The number of Howard County residents testing positive for COVID-19 continued to trend upward over the weekend.

As of Monday, there were 24 new cases and one new death reported in Howard County. Now, 810 residents have tested positive for the virus, and 65 have died.

According to Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman, about 60 percent of cases of COVID-19 locally are considered “community-spread.” The rest have been tracked to long-term care facilities and large employers, such as Indiana Packers and Tyson Foods. Of the 65 deaths, about 51 have been in long-term care facilities.

Now, about 10 to 12 residents are testing positive for the virus per day, a significant increase from about a month ago when around three to four were testing positive daily.

“Now, look, that not just unique to Kokomo and Howard County. It’s happening in surrounding counties. It’s happening throughout the state, and as you watch the news, you see it’s happening throughout the country as well,” said Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman. “But our team manages metrics all across the board, and one of the metrics that you guys know that we’ve managed very closely from the beginning is hospitalizations. And right now our hospitalizations are doing really well, very low, tremendous capacity, which means the hospitals and frontline workers are able to take care of all of our other needs whether it be heart attacks or any other types of illnesses.”

Another metric the county measures is testing, and Wyman reported testing number continue to be high at the local Optum COVID-19 testing site. What’s interesting, he said, is that data from local testing shows that around 30 to 35 percent of those testing positive for the virus are asymptomatic.

“It really all kinds of plays into the whole management as we go forward. So if we don’t know that we have the virus, but yet we could be carrying it, staying socially distant when we’re in large groups, wearing our masks when in public places are critical management tools as we go forward,” he said.

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The Howard County 4-H Fair was two weeks ago, and Wyman said no outbreak has been linked to it.

“Things are going pretty well considering the slight uptick we’ve been seeing in the virus, so we’re just asking everyone to continue to do our part,” Wyman said.

Today, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 582 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths. On Sunday, 784 new cases and four were deaths were reported, which was on the heels of 989 cases and six new deaths being reported on Saturday.

In total, 68,433 Hoosiers have tested positive for the virus, and 2,780 have died. Another 200 have died who were presumed to have the virus but had no positive test on record.

Overall, 775,482 Hoosiers have been tested for the virus, and 964,378 tests have been administered. In Howard County, 9,287 residents have been tested.

According to the Regenstrief Institute, approximately 71.9 percent of Hoosiers testing positive have recovered.