Wayne County has had its 10th death related to COVID-19, according to the county’s health department.
The victim, who was in his early 80s, had lived in a long-term care facility before being taken to Reid Health, where he died after a brief stay, according to the health department.
His death was the fourth local fatality from COVID complications since July 19.
“We should all remember these numbers represent people and not just statistics,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore. “It is a reminder we must redouble our efforts to keep one another safe.”
Wayne County has seen a significant rise in cases since the beginning of July.
The county has had 334 lab-confirmed positive tests, according to data released Tuesday, Aug. 4, by Indiana State Department of Health.
Last week the county’s 7-day positivity rate was at 10%.
“We are hoping to see cases begin to slow down, now that we have a masking mandate from Governor Holcomb,” said Christine Stinson, executive director of the local health department.
The 7-day positivity rate for those tested is down to 6.5% as of Tuesday.
“We would love to have that positivity rate much lower, around 2 to 3 percent,” Stinson said.
While local fatalities have been in their 60s or older, health officials are encouraging young people to be careful to avoid getting sick and/or spreading the virus to others.
“If we all do our part, we can reduce the number of community transmission and thereby keeping our elderly loved ones at lower risk of contracting the disease,” Stinson said. “If we all do our part, we can reduce the number of our friends and family members who have comorbidity that put them at a higher risk of suffering a long and painful recovery. If we all do our part, we can help our students and teachers have a safer return to school. But it takes us all doing our part.”
It’s possible to spread COVID-19 several days before becoming ill, while some positive carriers never feel sick themselves.
Those between the ages of 20 and 29 are currently dominating the county’s positivity rate, having 18 percent of the cases, closely followed by those 60-69 (17.4 percent) and 50-59 (17.1 percent).
Cases are a bit lower for those 30-39 (13.5 percent), 40-49 (12 percent), 0-19 (10.8 percent), 80-plus (6.3 percent) and 70-79 (5.1 percent)
Eight of the local fatalities have been men. Nine of the 10 have been white and one was Black or African American, according to state data.
Five of the deaths have been people in their 80s, with three in their 60s and two in their 70s.
On Tuesday, nearby Franklin County, Indiana, has had four more COVID-19 related deaths since its last update on July 31, bringing its death toll to 13, according to that county’s health department.
A man and woman each in their 90s died as well as two females in their 70s. The death announced July 31 was a male in his 80s.
Health department officials urge those of all ages to stay home if they are sick. Symptoms include headache, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, chills, sore throat, runny nose, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea and loss of taste and smell.
Those experiencing symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention, with immediate care urged for those having trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay aware, and/or bluish lips or face.
All are asked to wear a cloth face covering when around others to follow the governor’s mask mandate of July 27, practice good hand hygiene and monitor themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19.

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