• Last modified 910 days ago (Dec. 1, 2020)


COVID surge ebbs with 20 new cases Monday

Staff writer

A surge in COVID-19 cases that began at Halloween continued to ebb Monday but remained at levels unprecedented before the surge began.

Twenty new cases reported Monday after a long holiday weekend bring to 454 the total number of cases reported in Marion County since the pandemic began here April 1.

In the past seven days, 34 new cases have been reported — the lowest seven-day total this month but still well above previous levels. Until Halloween, the record number of cases in any seven-day period had been 25. Within two weeks after Halloween, the seven-day total had swelled to 88. It has been declining since.

An expected increase associated with Thanksgiving and early Christmas events and shopping has not yet arrived.

Despite the improvement in Monday's report, the county remains a federal "red zone." The overall infection rate is 38.2 per 1,000 residents, up 2.9 from a week earlier. Of those tested for the virus by PCR and antigen tests in the past 14 days, 30.8% have tested positive.

The latest numbers represent substantial improvement over where they were earlier this month, when the seven-day increase in infection rate peaked at 7.4 and the 14-day positivity rate peaked at 71.1% and hovered for many days above 40%.

Still, they remain well above levels that typically call for special precautions. A seven-day increase of 1.0 in the infection rate and any positivity rate in excess of 10% are regarded nationally as signs that travelers to an area may need to quarantine afterward and that face-to-face school classes in the area may need to be canceled.

County health officials reported Monday that 41 patients still were exhibiting symptoms or undergoing treatment, and that one of them was hospitalized.

Last modified Dec. 1, 2020