COVID-19 cases increase in Madison County

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Jun. 15—ANDERSON — The number of COVID-19 cases in Madison County has been increasing over the past few weeks, according to Stephenie Mellinger, administrator of the Madison County Health Department.

Mellinger said Wednesday the Health Department is seeing 25 to 30 COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.

"When it went to 30 cases a day two weeks ago, I was surprised," she said. "At one point we were down to five or six cases per day."

Mellinger told Board of Health members that the two local hospitals are still seeing one or two patients with COVID on a daily basis, with those cases being reported as mild.

Dr. Stephen Wright, county medical officer, said he is predicting another outbreak of COVID-19 cases this fall.

Mellinger agreed there could be an increase in cases when the local school systems start the 2022-2023 school year.

The Health Department is administering 25 to 30 COVID-19 vaccinations on a daily basis.

The Center for Disease Control continues to list Madison County as low for community spread of COVID-19.

Wright said people over the age of 50 should get a second booster shot, which is recommended for anyone over the age of 18 with health issues.

In May, the county was averaging 19 cases per day as compared to an average of five cases earlier in that month.

The Health Department will stop testing for COVID-19 on June 30, but Mellinger said the department has a number of home testing kits that are available at the Health Department office.

Vaccinations are given on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mellinger said the Health Department will begin offering vaccinations on one Saturday per month starting in August.

The current recommendations are to stay up to date with vaccines, test if symptomatic and wear a mask if symptomatic and you have tested positive.

The Health Department will no longer provide testing after June 30, but there are approximately 10,000 home rapid test kits available free of charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Health Department still has COVID vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — and COVID vaccination will continue indefinitely, by appointment or walk-in.

First boosters are recommended for anyone between the ages of 5 and 17 (Pfizer, five months after completing the series) and anyone over 18 (Pfizer, Moderna, four months after completing the series, and for those who received J&J, two months after the one-dose).

Further recommendations include frequent hand washing; staying home if ill; staying home for five days following a positive COVID test and following the onset of symptoms; and wearing a mask for six to 10 days when returning to work.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.