Despite newly available omicron-specific boosters, Knox County continues to hold the highest COVID infection rate in the state.

“We have been in the lead in the state for about the last six weeks,” said Knox County Health Officer Dr. Alan Stewart, exasperated by the continued wave of new cases. “It seems as though we have more COVID than anyone else.”

The county currently has an infection rate of 133 per 10,000 residents. Though down from last week’s rate of 145 per 10,000, only neighboring Gibson County comes close to matching the local infection rate, with its listed at 115 per 10,000 residents.

The 90 remaining Indiana counties all have infection rates below 100, with the majority of areas sitting closer to 50 per 10,000 residents.

For three consecutive months, Knox County has been rated as “severe” on the state’s dashboard ranking and currently has a case count of 488, which is down from last week’s count of 531.

“I don’t know why our numbers continue to be so much higher than everyone else’s,” Stewart said.

Too, the health officer noted, Knox County has already recorded 4,971 COVID-19 cases for 2022 — nearly 200 more cases than in all of 2021.

“That’s just the official number, so it would actually be much higher because about 50% more people are doing home testing, which is not reported,” Stewart said.

Good Samaritan currently has eight inpatient cases of the virus, three of whom are in the ICU.

Stewart says none of the hospitalized patients have been fully vaccinated, and five of the individuals have had no doses of a COVID vaccine.

“The best way to be protected now is by getting the new bivalent vaccine,” he said, urging more residents to take the shot.

With new, omicron-specific boosters on hand, the Knox County Health Department says they have seen a study flow of patients the past two weeks, but they would like to be busier.
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