WABASH VALLEY — Many Indiana counties in the Wabash Valley are now under the second highest advisory level for COVID-19 transmission determined by the Indiana State Department of Health, with one county sitting in the highest zone.
Clay County is currently in the red advisory level as of Wednesday afternoon. This mean that per 100,000 residents in an area, 200 or more cases have been reported and seven-day all test positivity rates are 15 percent or higher.
Clay County health officials are still strongly encouraging all individuals to get vaccinated, wear a mask and continue to social distance. Tom Champion, the county’s emergency planning coordinator, said he hopes the residents take the virus seriously and work to lower transmission rates.
“Unfortunately, we have no control over the general public and what they do,” he said. “Just use some common sense.”
The Clay County Health Department, along with the Indiana State Department of Health, will conduct free COVID-19 testing from noon to 8 p.m. on Aug. 16 through 18. Testing will be done at Forest Park in Brazil, Ind.
The testing is for anyone two years old and older and no photo ID is required. There will also be free limited Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccinations available each day. People under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive a vaccination.
While Clay County continues to combat its high level, other local counties are having transmission as well.
An orange advisory level means that per 100,000 residents in an area 100-199 cases have been reported and that seven-day all test positivity rates are between 10 and 14.9 percent. Currently, Vigo, Vermillion, Parke, Sullivan, Greene and Knox counties all sit in the orange level and a county must stay at a lower “Weekly Two-Metric Score” for two weeks in a row to move down to a lower advisory level.
Following the CDC’s recent recommendations on even fully vaccinated individuals wearing a mask indoors, many counties are looking to shift their school and business guidelines accordingly. While a statewide mask mandate has not been put into affect, Greene County Health Department administrator Shari Lewis said they are asking residents to cooperate with guidelines.
“We are definitely going to follow the CDC’s newly released guidelines,” Lewis said. “We are strongly encouraging our schools and others in the county to do the same.”