After being in double digits only weeks ago, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reported Wabash County’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rates were now below 1 percent earlier this week.

These two figures – for tests for unique individuals and for all tests – are usually closely aligned in ISDH’s daily figures. However, they began diverging earlier this month.

For example, as recently as Friday, Sept. 11, the ISDH reported the local seven-day positivity rate for all tests was 6.3 percent, and the local seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals was 11.5 percent.

During a televised press conference Wednesday, Sept. 9, Dr. Kristina Box, state health commissioner, said the reason for the difference between these two figures in Wabash County was most likely because more negative antigen tests were being onboarded to the state’s dashboard.

“We made a point of adding tests from July 31 on, but we know more of the historical negatives are being onboarded and more and more labs are coming onboard. If there’s starting to be a wider gap between those two it’s probably the negatives that are being reported from these tests,” said Box.

Local figures

On Saturday, the ISDH reported five new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 268, with 4,975 tests. The local seven-day positivity rating for all tests and for unique individuals were both 1 percent.

On Sunday, the ISDH reported three new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 271, with 5,000 tests. The local seven-day positivity rating for all tests was .9 percent. The local seven-day positivity rating for unique individuals was 1 percent.

On Monday, the ISDH reported one new local positive COVID-19 case, bringing Wabash County’s total to 272, with 5,020 tests. The local seven-day positivity rating for all tests was .7 percent. The local seven-day positivity rating for unique individuals was 1 percent.

On Tuesday, the ISDH reported three new local positive COVID-19 cases, bringing Wabash County’s total to 275, with 5,044 tests. The local seven-day positivity rating for all tests was .9 percent. The local seven-day positivity rating for unique individuals was .6 percent.

As of Tuesday, the ISDH reported the following Wabash County demographics for positive cases by age group:

Ages 0 to 19: 14.5 percent

Ages 20 to 29: 17.1 percent

Ages 30 to 39: 14.5 percent

Ages 40 to 49: 11.6 percent

Ages 50 to 59: 9.8 percent

Ages 60 to 69: 13.1 percent

Ages 70 to 79: 8 percent

Ages 80 and above: 11.3 percent

The ISDH reported the following gender breakdowns for Wabash County positive cases:

Female: 59.6 percent

Male: 38.9 percent

Unknown: 1.5 percent

The ISDH reported the following racial breakdowns for Wabash County positive cases:

White: 72.7 percent

Other race: 9.1 percent

Black or African American: 1.8 percent

Asian: .4 percent

Unknown: 16 percent

The ISDH reported the following ethnic breakdowns for Wabash County positive cases:

Not Hispanic or Latino: 54.9 percent

Hispanic or Latino: 5.1 percent

Unknown: 40 percent

Statewide figures

On Friday, the ISDH announced that 761 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the state laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 119,066 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous days dashboard.

A total of 3,385 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 20 from the previous day. Another 227 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by the state and occurred over multiple days.

To date, 1,371,355 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 1,366,294 on Monday. A total of 2,042,146 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26.

To find testing sites around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

Rob Burgess, Wabash Plain Dealer editor, may be reached by email at rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com.