The Morgan County Health Department is asking residents to continue to be vigilant in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, Morgan, Cass, Scott, Greene and Pike Counties all reported newly confirmed cases, and Region 3 moved into a warning area of state health department metrics stemming from seven straight days of daily positivity rate increases.
Dale Bainter, Administrator of the Morgan County Health Department says he would not call the increase in cases a surge just yet, however the health department is definitely seeing an upswing in cases that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Bainter says many of the new cases are being traced to larger gatherings mostly consisting of younger age groups.
“This is kind of what we have been warning against, and individuals try to avoid. We’re seeing the average age of those infected with the virus start to tick down a little bit. Our five new cases yesterday were a teen, a couple in their 30’s a couple in their 40’s. It’s generally related to, that’s the population that’s out there, are active and maybe we are not paying as much attention to the restrictions as we should be.”
Bainter says he hopes everyone pays attention to national news coverage of the virus to stay informed of surges happening in neighboring states. He says with lower case counts in Morgan and surrounding areas, it can be easy to become complacent.
“That thought that we’re just all going to get it and it’s not going to be that big of a deal, can have very significant affects on those around us, loved ones, older people, those with health conditions.
And I hope that we are not saying that it’s OK that those people get severely ill, because that’s not the message we want to share. We are in this as a community, and we want to protect everyone.”
Bainter says that health departments in all areas are continuing to ask the public to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing.
He says more research shows that COVID-19 is highly contagious and most easily spread by airborne means from something as simple as people talking to each other too closely.
“Very much like influenza, anything that is going to be like a flu virus, a coronavirus, that’s the reason that the mask usage is such a simple avenue for slowing the spread, it’s going to cover that up.
So if I’m sneezing, if I’m coughing, or I’m wheezing, anything that is going to airosolize or get that virus out there in droplets or saliva, you know that mask is a very simple solution to help stop the spread.”
He says mask use is still the number one defense for keeping people safe from the virus, and although research into the virus continues to show promising results, medicine is still a long way off from final development of a vaccine for COVID-19