Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Miami County as the state deals with record-setting numbers in recent days.
Friday’s noon update from the Indiana State Department of Health put the total number of people to have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus at 540. That represented an addition of 19 new cases from Thursday’s report.
Accompanying those numbers are large increases in the county’s positivity rate. The seven-day positivity rate for all tests administered, on Friday, sat at 7.9 percent. The “unique individuals” rate was 9.2 %.
On Oct. 7, the all-tests average rate was 1.1 percent and the “unique” rate was 2.5 %.
That trend in the wrong direction saw state officials, on Wednesday, change Miami County from the lowest ranking of blue to the next level of yellow on the state’s “county metrics” map. As of Wednesday, only neighboring Howard County remained blue.
Cass County, the only neighboring county on Wednesday to be marked with the orange designation, saw a recent jump in cases there “attributable to congregate settings,” the website said.
The climbing local numbers coincide with similar trends around the state.
A week ago, The Associated Press reported that officials in the state reported 1,832 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Oct. 9. That was a single-day record for the state that was broken the next day when officials reported another 1,945 cases.
That record was broken on Thursday and then again on Friday when the state posted 2,328 new cases (with an accompanying note that 300 are cases whose reporting was delayed because of a technical problem.)
Local numbers appear to include some new cases in the county’s nursing homes, though the just how many remained unclear on Friday.
Updated numbers from the Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday showed that five staff members at Miller’s Merry Manor have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least one resident has tested positive as well. The state’s website that publishes reported nursing home cases does not – for reasons of privacy – publish exact case counts if fewer than five in either the staff or resident category have tested positive.
The numbers are updated every Wednesday.
A call to a representative at Miller’s corporate office seeking an exact count was not returned Wednesday. On Friday, Julie Steele, at Miller’s corporate office did not have an exact count of cases in the local facility immediately available on early Friday afternoon but said it was fewer than the 85-case jump in the past 10 days.
“We are definitely not accounting for that number,” she said.
The new state numbers also showed that fewer than five staff members have also tested positive at the Blair Ridge Health Campus.
A call to to Trilogy Health Services, which operates Blair Ridge, was not immediately returned on Friday.
Until this month, there had been no reported cases among residents at any of the area’s long term care facilities.
In August, when Indiana officials first started publishing nursing home numbers on the COVID-19 website, the only known cases were fewer than five staff members at Miller’s and fewer than five staff cases at Aperion Estates.
To date, there have been four deaths in Miami County attributed to COVID-19.