• Last modified 680 days ago (July 14, 2020)


Virus hits 4 more; total swells to 26

7 P.M. UPDATE — With stay-at-home orders lifted and statewide orders to wear face masks overturned, COVID-19 continues its unchecked assault on Marion County.

Two additional confirmed cases were revealed Monday morning, and two more were revealed Monday evening.

They bring to 26 the total number of cases in the county — well more than double the number that existed before county commissioners decided just 11 days ago to overrule the governor and make face masks optional in public.

More than half of all cases remain “active,” meaning patients continue to be treated in hospitals or elsewhere.

Absolutely no details of the new cases — ages, genders, hometowns, or suspected ways of infection — were released by health department officials Monday.

County health administrator Diedre Serene said she would release age ranges and genders — but nothing else — after the new cases are added to a state tracking system.

This newspaper repeatedly has complained about the usual level of secrecy, not common in other counties, surrounding COVID cases in Marion County and repeatedly has suggested that at least some information could be released without jeopardizing patient privacy. Especially significant would be information giving some indication what activities and locations have been associated with contracting the disease.

Unconfirmed information obtained by the newspaper indicates that no city or rural area of the county has escaped COVID infection and that many of the victims have traveled out of the county or engaged in unsafe activities such as unprotected participation in group events. Little of this, however, has been confirmed by officials.

Monday's four new cases come on the heels of a record one-day increase in the number of cases last Wednesday and reports of three more additional cases, including one very troublingly involving an employee at the county jail complex, last Thursday.

Previous stories:

Last modified July 14, 2020