It is too soon, way too soon, we believe, to say we've suffered the worst, that we've “broken the back” of the coronavirus pandemic.
The truth is we're likely as much as a month out from the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Knox County, and can expect the number of positive tests reported by local health officials to increase, perhaps even to double, between now and whenever that proves to be.
But there certainly is good news to report about how things have been going so far, especially in that none of those tested positive has yet to be hospitalized, with all able to “quarantine” in their homes.
And some of the early positive-tested have been able to leave their self-imposed exile from the community — although we hope, no matter how strong the urge, that they (along with most everyone else) remain at home as much as possible until the crisis passes.
As of this writing, the ratio of those tested to those testing positive for COVID-19 in Knox County is just under 9 to 1, compared to the statewide ratio of just over 5 to 1.
Among surrounding counties, some of the ratios are getting closer to that statewide average — Greene and Daviess counties are around 6 to 1, and combined (as of this writing) have 60 cases of COVID-19 out of 375 tested.
We did a little back-of-the-envelope figuring, and for Greene County that comes out to 1 case for every 887 residents (using 2019 U.S. Census population estimates) and for Daviess County 1 case for every 1,390 residents.
For Knox County, it's 1 case for every 2,153 residents.
(For Marion County, the worst-hit by the pandemic, the ratio is 1 for every 290 residents.)
Daviess, Greene and Knox counties are decidedly different, although not so much so as to make such a comparison unreasonable.
Locally, healthcare officials jumped on COVID-19 awareness and preparedness early, and that head start seems to be paying off.
Good Samaritan Hospital was ready from Day 1, a model of what a well-managed community hospital with a highly-trained staff can do in a short span of time.
And, thanks to the persistence of Dr. Alan Stewart, the county health officer, in having those diagnosed with COVID-19 spend additional time in quarantine, beyond the period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local cases are definitely lower than would have likely otherwise been the case.
Again, we're still a good ways out from putting the coronavirus behind us, but right now we're doing okay.