SCHD: More positive COVID-19 cases exist; lack of tests, state law slow accurate count

Scott County health providers submitted 52 samples for Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Indiana confirmed the state’s first case on March 6. However, county health officials believe more positive cases exist in the county but cannot be tested due testing supplies and kit shortages or cannot be reported accurately from those tested in outside counties due to state law.

So far, the county has three confirmed cases.

The Scott County Health Department said in a press release on March 30 that more people are unable to be tested for COVID-19 because “testing supplies and kits are very limited,” and the health department does not have any testing supplies or kits.

“We do not know when the Indiana State Department of Health will be giving us these supplies. Tests are done by providers or hospitals and sent off to laboratories,” the Scott County Health Department said in a press release on March 30. “We believe there are more positive cases in the county but cannot be tested at this time due to the shortage of supplies.”

The Scott County Health Department said some residents travel outside of the county to be tested. The health department said it does not have access to the information from other counties where residents obtained tests because Indiana laws only require health care providers to report the results to the local health departments. Therefore, if a Scott County resident is tested at a Clark County health provider and is confirmed positive for COVID-19, then the Clark County health provider only has to report the information to the Clark County Health Department, not Scott County.

“Therefore, we do not have all information on persons under investigation, negative test results, or outside county data,”  the Scott County Health Department said in the press release.

Even if people have signs and mild symptoms of COVID-19, the health department said people will not be tested immediately and should manage mild symptoms at home. If symptoms worsen with respiratory or breathing difficulty, then one should seek immediate medical care and call before going to seek assistance, noting the possible exposure to COVID-19.

“Testing supplies and kits are very limited, so if you are experiencing mild symptoms, you will not be tested right now. Those who are hospitalized, residing in long-term care facilities, jails, and healthcare workers are prioritized for testing,” the Scott County Health Department said in a press release. “…The public should assume Novel Coronavirus is in our county and all proper precautions should be taken immediately.”

The staff of The Booster

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