• Last modified 1233 days ago (Feb. 4, 2021)


Infection rate skids to lowest in a month

Staff writer

As health care workers and older residents are beginning to receive vaccinations, new coronavirus infections in Marion County are beginning to decline.

The county has reported just five new cases so far this week. It reported eight on Friday and 18 in a delayed report Thursday. As a result, the county’s seven-day total, which won’t be updated until Wednesday, dipped to 33, lowest since Dec. 27. The 14-day total fell to 125, lowest since Jan. 7.

Both represent significant declines from previous one- and two-week peaks. The most cases previously reported in seven days were 90 for the week that ended Jan. 8. The biggest two-week total was 161 for the 14 days that ended Nov. 12.

Still, the latest numbers are significantly above those posted in the first seven months of the pandemic. Before Nov. 1, the highest 14-day total had been less than half what was in the past two weeks.

Continuing a trend noted for several weeks, state numbers for Marion County were slightly higher Monday. While the county was reporting a total of 943 cases since April 1, the state was reporting 12 more cases than that in the county. No clear explanation has been offered for the difference.

County health officials said that 37 residents were receiving treatment, exhibiting symptoms, or continuing to be under isolation orders because of COVID-19 Monday evening. Just one of them was in a hospital.

The county now lists eight COVID deaths since April 1. That’s an increase from the six that were reported prior to Friday. Officials have warned, however, that deaths may take weeks or months to officially be added to the COVID toll.

Marion County continued to account Monday for 10% of long-term care facilities listed on a statewide list of COVID “clusters.” Bethesda Homes in Goessel was listed as having had 19 cases in 14 days while Parkside Homes in Hillsboro was listed as having six.

County officials no longer release information about COVID-19 patients’ age or gender. However, state data indicate that all of Monday’s new cases come from the 65-to-74-year age group. Last week, according to state data, the most impacted are groups in the county were those ages 14 to 17, 25 to 34 and 75 to 84.

Last modified Feb. 4, 2021