Sullivan County seeing higher-than-state average COVID-19 positivity rate

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A local Indiana county is seeing a seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate that’s much higher than the state average.

From August 1st-8th, Sullivan County reported a 16.3% seven day COVID-19 positivity rate.

This more than doubles the state of Indiana’s rate which sits at 7.6%.

When asked about the increases the county is seeing, officials with the Sullivan County Health Department say the numbers are surprising.

“We did really really well at the beginning of this. We were one of the first counties in Indiana that shutdown,” said Ryan Irish, Sullivan County Health Department administrator.

One major factor that Irish says is contributing to the high positivity rate are people not staying home after being tested.

“What we’re seeing a lot is people are going and getting tested and they’re returning to work or school or attending social gatherings while they’re waiting on test results,” Irish said.

Instead Irish says the community should take every precaution until their test results are in.

“If people feel like they need to go get tested, if they’re experiencing symptoms and signs, then they need to quarantine and stay home until they get those test results,” Irish said.

Lastly, Irish says Sullivan County residents must continue to practice guidelines like social distancing and mask wearing, and he says he does believe the county can reverse it’s current trend.

“I do believe we can decrease these rates if people were just to follow these simple guidelines,” Irish said.

Daviess, Vermillion, Vigo and Knox Counties are also seeing 7-day positivity rates that are higher than the current state average. You can keep track of it on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website.

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