EVANSVILLE — After experiencing a two-day dip in daily case numbers, Vanderburgh County has once again set a one-day record for high cases with 138 new cases, according to the Indiana State Department of Health's statewide dashboard of cases. It brings the county's total of COVID-19 cases to 5,363 since the first case emerged on March 19.

Vanderburgh and Pike counties reported one new death while both Warrick and Posey counties reported two additional deaths Saturday due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The county reported 58 new cases Friday, but for much of the last two weeks Vanderburgh County's one-day totals hovered around or in triple digits.

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The last single-day high of 126 cases and four deaths was reported on Oct. 9. Southwestern Indiana and the Tri-State region have been experiencing significantly higher numbers than much of the state. Another 95 cases were reported on Saturday, Oct. 10. Then, on Sunday, Oct. 11 Vanderburgh County reported 106 cases and another death. Monday brought another 98 cases.

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Warrick County added 29 new cases Saturday for a total of 1,820; Posey County added 22 for a total of 651; and Gibson County added 16 for a total of 810.

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Within the other counties' numbers are trends worth watching.

Warrick County registers 16.7% of its cases in the school-age demographic of young people 0-19 years old. It is the largest single age group designation in Warrick County. People 20-29 years old register the next-highest percentage at 15.9%.

In no other area county do school-age cases rise above all other age groups as a percentage of total cases.

While Posey County has tested a relatively small number of individuals, 5,325, its seven-day positivity rate for "unique individuals" is the highest in the region at 28.8%. Gibson County is not far behind at 24.6%. Positivity rate is the percentage of people tested who come up positive for COVID-19.

By far the largest county in the region and leading the pack with 5,363 positive cases, Vanderburgh County clocks in with a seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals of 14.8%.

All those numbers are higher than medical and health care professionals would like at the moment.

The region remains a hotbed in the state in terms of the rate at which the novel coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19, is spreading. Health officials have expressed concern over the sharp and continued rise of cases and the continued strain on medical resources. The Vanderburgh County Health Board recommended stricter enforcement on gatherings, restaurants and bars but both city and county officials said they won't go forward with those recommendations.

Due to the rising numbers in Vanderburgh County, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke earlier this month announced additional restrictions on gatherings to go in effect Monday. The current mandate is that organizers of any event of 500 or more must seek approval from the Vanderburgh County Health Department. New restrictions lower that threshold to 125 or more.

Winnecke said this decision came after receiving data from local and state health officials about the spread at local public events. Local events that had multiple cases connected to them included funerals, a wedding and a sporting event.

The county-by-county rating system for quantifying risk is intended in part as a guide for school leaders on whether to keep students in classrooms. ISDH assigns counties scores based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests.

Each county is designated a color, given the average of those numbers. The colors range from blue — least community spread — to yellow, orange and red for greater spread. The map is updated weekly, most recently on Wednesday.

In the entire state, Southwestern Indiana counties have had some of the highest weekly cases per 100,000 population.

In Vanderburgh County, the number of cases in the 20-29 age group remains the largest demographic of COVID-19 cases, although that number has been slowly dropping recently. It was 22.2% Saturday.

The school-age demographic of children age 0-19 dropped slightly to 14.1% of all cases locally. That number is slightly higher than the state's proportion of cases in the 0-19 age bracket at 13.2%. The number of those aged 30-39 has now surpassed 0-19 at 15.0%.

The ISDH dashboard now offers four separate figures for positivity rates. The "unique individuals" positivity rate for Vanderburgh Saturday was 10.3% cumulatively and the seven-day rate, covering Oct. 4-10, was 14.8%.

The "all tests" positivity rate was 4.8% cumulatively and 7.6% over the same seven-day period.

A total of 52,286 individuals in Vanderburgh County have been tested for COVID-19 since March 11, with 82,385 tests administered.
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