KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Thursday the state of Indiana reported 513 total cases of COVID-19 in Knox county. There have been nine deaths.
While the cases are still on the rise, health officials say the rate is slowing. But that doesn't mean Knox County is out of the woods.
Knox County health officer Dr. Alan Stewart says, "Some people on ventilators in our hospital and four people in the intensive care unit, who are critically ill. And this is not at our hospital's full capacity but at the same time it is starting to approach that."
There are 10 other patients currently hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19. Health officials say nurses at the hospital are stepping up to the challenge.
Stewart says, "This is something that requires great skill and training. And our nurses at present time are working a significant amount of overtime. They are getting fatigued and it is significant stress."
The state of Indiana has officially announced it will move to phase 5 of reopening plans. Stewart encourages caution to residents of Knox county.
Stewart explains, "I am concerned with that in regard to our county because we are really not ready for that yet. Because we are not considered a blue county. In other words in good shape with regards to our positivity and our number of weekly cases."
Stewart hopes residents will continue to wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands.
Stewart says, "This is not an opportunity to just stop all the precautions that we've tried to have in place at the present time."