SOUTH BEND — Another 55 new cases of covid-19 were reported by the Pacific County Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday afternoon, as the county’s total case count and case rate continue to soar.

The 55 reported cases on Nov. 24 are new since Nov. 20, the most recent update provided by the county health department. With these new cases Pacific County has now reported 395 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 182 of which are active and currently being monitored by public health nurses, with three individuals currently hospitalized.

Pacific County’s case rate has soared over the past week, and now sits at 998 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week rolling average, among the highest case rates in the country. The figures include both confirmed and probable cases from rapid testing that are awaiting further confirmation.

“We do not report these numbers to cause alarm, but rather to increase awareness of the surge and to remind people to take recommended safety precautions,” the department said in a statement announcing the new cases.

While cases have been more concentrated in north county than in south county, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott McDougall said Tuesday that the virus "truly is in every part of the county."

Due to the recent surge in testing, covid-19 testing resources have become limited in the county, according to local health officials. The county is asking people only who are symptomatic or have been identified as a close contact to seek local testing and healthcare resources, in an effort to conserve resources.

Pacific County Health and Human Services strongly encourages the public to limit non-essential travel, maintain social distancing of at least six feet between persons, and practice personal protective measures to include: correctly wearing a mask/face covering in public, washing hands often with soapy water for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face. For up to date information and guidance, please monitor the Pacific County Health and Human Services Facebook page or visit www.pacificcountycovid19.com.

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