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Logansport pork plant becomes one of worst COVID-19 hot spots in the country

An explosion of cases linked to Logansport’s pork-processing plant has given Indiana one of the worst coronavirus hotspots in the nation.

Cass County now has the seventh-highest infection rate in the country, trailing only two suburban New York counties and four counties with prisons. Tyson announced plans to test all its workers after the first surge of cases. One of every 37 residents in the county has now tested positive.

Only Indiana’s two largest counties, Marion and Lake, have more cases than Cass County has confirmed in the last three days.

Family and Social Services Secretary Jennifer Sullivan says area hospitals have enough capacity to handle the workload if more patients turn up or current ones get sicker. She says she’s been “floored” at how hospitals across the state have come together regionally to plan for sharing resources in case of a surge. Sullivan says there are no hospitals in danger of running out of space.

The National Guard announced last week it was moving hospital beds to Lake County, to be able to set up a field hospital there quickly if it became necessary. So far, that hasn’t happened, and there’s been no similar announcement in Cass County or other parts of the state.

Chief medical officer Dan Rusyniak warns Logansport won’t be the last popup outbreak. He says a primary goal of expanded testing is to spot those clusters early and get people into isolation.

Governor Holcomb says an eventual loosening of pandemic restrictions, currently set to expire on Friday, will likely be done on a county-by-county or regional basis, to account for hotspots like Cass County.

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