SOUTH BEND — The Pacific County Health and Human Services Department reported 55 new cases of covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon, a staggering number that underscores just how dire of a situation the county has been in this fall.
With these new cases, Pacific County has now reported 246 total cases of the virus since the pandemic began. Of those cases, 86 are currently active and being monitored by public health nurses, the department said. Four of the individuals with active cases are currently hospitalized, while the rest are self-isolating as contact tracing and case investigations are ongoing.
In a span of less than three weeks, since Nov. 1, Pacific County has reported 125 new cases of the virus. From April 9 through Oct. 31, a span of about seven months, the county reported 121 total cases.
This new batch of reported cases also includes rapid-result tests that yielded positive results, per the direction from Pacific County Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager. In the past, the county has reported these tests as probable cases while it awaits results from a second, more conclusive test. In a statement, the department noted that false positive rapid test results are rare, and that confirmatory tests will still be conducted.
“The numbers reported by Pacific County will continue to reflect an accurate count of active cases within the county,” the department said.
During the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency's weekly call on Nov. 18, Pacific County Health Manager Stephanie Michael said that about 75% of recent positive tests are from north county residents, while about 25% are from south county residents.
Of the 55 newly reported cases by the health department on Nov. 18:
Seven of the individuals are between the ages of 0 and 10; 11 are between 11 and 20; seven are between 21 and 30; 10 are between 31 and 40; seven are between 41 and 50; eight are between 51 and 60; four are between 61 and 70; and one is between 81 and 90.
Thirty-four of the individuals are males, and 21 are females.
Nearly a majority of the cases, 27, are believed to be linked to workplace exposure; 21 are linked to a household positive case; three are linked to exposure from an out-of-county visitor; two are linked to social interactions; and two are linked to community exposure.
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.