The Vincennes Community School Corp. has had three staff members test positive for COVID-19 so far this week.
VCSC superintendent Greg Parsley announced on Monday that two teachers at Lincoln High School were out with the novel coronavirus, and on Tuesday, he added a third staff member at Tecumseh-Harrison Elementary School to the list.
No additional staff members or students have been placed in quarantine as a result of those three cases due to the corporation’s mask mandate, he said.
In addition, Parsley said the two high school teachers hadn’t been around students since Sept. 18 and Sept. 21 respectively.
The teacher at Tecumseh-Harrison hasn’t been in the classroom since Sept. 25, he said.
And all are self-quarantined at home and doing well with few, if any, symptoms, he said.
A previous staff member at Tecumseh-Harrison that had tested positive for COVID-19 was recently released from quarantine and has been cleared to return to school.
Parsley said the three current active cases amongst staff members don’t appear to be related. Two can (at least tentatively) trace the virus’ origins while a third has really no idea.
“But they have absolutely no connection to one another,” he said.
“And the one thing I’m encouraged by is that none of them are experiencing any serious health issues at this time,” he said. “Many of them have continued to push on, but from afar.”
Neither South Knox nor North Knox are reporting any active cases at this time.
Countywide, ten additional people tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday; there were four new cases reported on Monday.
Knox County continues to see a trend of between 5-10 people testing positive per day, according to county health officer Dr. Alan Stewart.
So he described the local COVID climate as “moderate.”
“It’s stable, but that’s not necessarily good,” he said. “It’s not severe, and we’re not in the middle of a surge, but I would like to see those numbers go down.”
He doesn’t, however, expect any real improvement anytime soon. After a meeting this week between all hospitals in District 10, which encompasses most of southwestern Indiana, this region continues to see an uptick in coronavirus cases.
“So I don’t see our numbers going down,” he said, adding that people “don’t seem to have the energy” to follow the state’s mask mandate.
“That could really make our numbers go down, if everyone would just get on board and begin wearing masks,” he said. “But until that happens, I think we’ll continue to at least see that smoldering of 5-10 more cases daily.
“Every time I get excited about a couple days of low numbers, I get smashed with a day like today where we have ten.”
According to the state Department of Health COVID dashboard, Knox County still has nine recorded coronavirus-related deaths, but Stewart said he expects at least one more to be added soon.
The hospital, he said, saw three COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, although seeing as how Good Samaritan serves a large area, not all of them were residents of Knox County.
The schools, however, are “handling things well,” he added.
“Their protocol seems to be working, so that’s good,” he said. “They’re managing.”
There have been 537 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Knox County since the first case was reported here in late March.
The 7-day positivity rate does, however, continue to drop; it was at 3.8% on Tuesday.
Stewart said he expected that after a new, state-funded coronavirus testing facility opened at the GSH Convenient Care Clinic on Willow Street earlier this month.
Previously, Knox County was only doing 40-50 tests per day, and only on people who were either showing symptoms or had known exposure.
Now they’re averaging nearly 100.
“We’re doing more testing, so our positivity rate has naturally gone down,” he said.
Statewide, Indiana saw an additional 761 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday; among them there were 20 more deaths.
The state’s positivity rate was at 4.1%.
Since the outbreak began there have been nearly 120,000 Hoosiers test positive for the novel coronavirus and 3,385 deaths.
More than 2 million tests have been administered so far.