COVID-19 testing (copy)

The Clarksville Community Center on Sam Gwin Drive is among the COVID-19 testing sites available in Southern Indiana.

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Health Department has announced immediate restrictions on extracurricular school activities over the next two weeks in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the community.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, all K-12 extracurricular activities in Clark County are restricted to event staff, players and limited spectators — only parents and immediate household members of players.

The restrictions, which were announced in a news release from the Clark County Health Department, will last for two weeks and then be re-evaluated. Those restrictions apply only to events in Clark County. Questions about whether any restrictions may be in place in another area for an away game, should be directed to health or school authorities in that area.

The restrictions come as a safeguard against community-wide transmission identified by the health department, although health officials say the proper safeguards and quarantines have been in place at schools to limit transmission within facilities during school hours.

“[The Clark County Health Department] has been monitoring COVID-19 transmission via case investigation data daily in an effort to make policy decisions based on facts and risk analysis,” the news release said. “Virus transmission over the last two weeks have been steadily rising and is correlated with increased hospitalization and fatalities associated with COVID-19.”

The county health department has also “closely monitored quarantines and staffing at schools throughout the county and believe that transmission of COVID-19 has been limited during schools hours. Quarantines have taken place at several schools and this is by design to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“However, the data suggest community-wide transmission of COVID-19 in Clark County.”

In its most recent post Wednesday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 3,129 COVID-cases among Clark County residents — 44 of them new — and a seven-day rolling positivity rate for unique individuals with the disease at 11.6% from Oct. 15 to 21. Although this is down from the recent 15.7% seven-day rate for individuals, the overall numbers have caused Clark County to be upgraded from yellow to orange on the color-coded state map that shows severity of spread in Indiana counties.

The counties are rated each week based on the seven-day positivity rate for all tests administered (not just new unique individuals) to that county’s residents and the number of cases per 100,000 residents. The metric from each of these categories is then averaged to get the overall metric. It is updated each Wednesday at noon and reflects numbers through the previous Sunday.

This means a county with less than 5% seven-day positivity rate for all tests and fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 residents is coded blue; 5.0 to 9.9% positivity and 10 to 99 new cases per 100,000 residents is coded yellow; 10 to 14.9% positivity and 100 to 199 new cases per 100,000 residents is coded orange and a 15% or greater positivity rate and 200 or more new cases per 100,000 residents is coded red.

Clark County’s seven-day rolling positivity rate for all tests was 8.4% from Oct. 15 to 21 (yellow category) and it showed 205 cases weekly per 100,000 residents (red category) for an average in the orange.

More than half of Indiana counties showed up as orange with the Wednesday update, three were in the higher category of red and three in the lower category of blue. Floyd County remained in the yellow as of Wednesday.

“The health department believes we can change this dangerous trend in our community,” the release from the Clark County Health Department said. “Wear a mask, social distance, wash hands often, stay home when sick or if you have been identified as a close contact.”

Among Floyd County residents, there had been 1,905 cases as of the end of Tuesday, 21 of them new. For purposes of the color-coded map, the county had a seven-day rolling positivity rate for all tests of 5.3% between Oct. 15 and 21, and 187 new positive cases per 100,000 during that time period.

The seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals testing positive between Oct. 15 and 21 for Floyd County was 10.1%. There have been 69 deaths among Floyd County residents and 65 among Clark County residents.

Statewide, there were 169,112 positive cases as of the end of Tuesday, 2,587 of them new from Oct. 21 to 27. There have been 3,991 deaths, 33, new. The seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals statewide between Oct. 15 to 21 was 13.5%, with the seven-day positivity rate for all tests at 7.1%.

News and Tribune Sports Editor Josh Cook contributed to this story.

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