COVID cases in Madison County on the rise

·2 min read

May 27—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.

She said the county has an average of 19 cases per week in the last few weeks, compared to an average of five cases per week in previous weeks.

"These are mostly mild cases," she said. "Many of those getting infected don't require medical attention."

Mellinger said local hospitals have been averaging one or two COVID-19 patients at a time, including the most recent increase in cases.

About 14% of the current cases are reinfections, she said, and the most serious cases are for people who have not been vaccinated.

"Now is a good time to get vaccinated," she said. "We will answer any questions about concerns over the vaccination."

The CDC Tracker still has Madison County classified as "Low Community Level," Mellinger said.

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).

Second boosters are recommended for residents over the age of 50 and those 12 years and older that are immuno-compromised.

"Right now, it's all about personal protection," Mellinger said. "Vaccination overwhelmingly lowers the risk of severe infection and hospitalization.

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.