KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Knox County health officials say the county is experiencing one of its biggest surges of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to Knox County Health Officer Dr. Alan Stewart, the county reported 482 new COVID-19 cases in the last five days. Stewart said that much of this surge is due to the omicron variant being highly contagious.

“It was not nearly as high during the alpha surge nor was it high during the delta surge last fall,” Stewart stated. “We’re setting new records everyday.”

Good Samaritan Hospital Chief Operating Officer Adam Thacker said the hospital had to tighten its visitation policy amidst the surge. Only one inpatient visitor is allowed per patient, per day.

Thacker continued by saying that the surge is taking a toll on hospital staff.

“Because of such high transmission in the community and at the hospital, we have more staff out than ever due to COVID,” Thacker said.