Reported cases of COVID-19 are going up all over the country but local officials are optimistic that Jefferson County can weather the storm as it prepares to enter the final stage of the state’s reopening plan next week.

Local health and government officials met online on Friday morning for the final scheduled COVID-19 briefing by the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency. While officials acknowledged that the disease does appear to be having a resurgence nationwide, they also believe that by continuing to stay vigilant, the city of Madison and surrounding communities can continue to stay healthy.

“We plan on staying proactive. We have been very fortunate relative to surrounding counties and I think that’s a credit to the officials in this county and the citizens for stepping up and doing what was necessary,” Madison Mayor Bob Courtney said. “We need to continue to do those things that we have been doing. We need to wear face coverings and carry hand sanitizer around with us. I think it is because of doing those things we have been as fortunate as we have.”

Jefferson County has reported 59 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early March, far lower than all but one of the surrounding Indiana counties. Clark County has seen 605 cases so far, Jennings 164, Scott 154 and Ripley 111. Only Switzerland County, with 22 cases, has had fewer infections than Jefferson.

Across the Ohio River, Carroll County has reported 30 cases while Trimble County now has six. Kentucky has had 14,617 cases statewide.

Both Courtney and Tammy Monroe, the Jefferson County Health Department Administrator, credit the community’s quick action for keeping the numbers low.

“The U.S. has seen large increases all over the country and there have been outbreaks in surrounding states as states open up,” Monroe said. “There is no wall around Jefferson County and we have to continue doing what we have been doing, which is practicing good social distancing, wearing facial coverings when we can’t social distance and washing our hands.”

The state of Indiana is currently in Stage 4 of its reopening plan which means that restaurants are open at 75% capacity while bars, movie theaters and pools are open at 50%, all with proper social distancing guidelines in place. Those restrictions are expected to be lifted next week when Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to begin Stage 5, the final level of his Back on Track in Indiana plan.

Indiana reported 522 new cases on Thursday, its highest single-day total since June 17, but overall the state has been trending downward since its high of 946 on April 26. The state has now reported 43,655 total cases and 2,394 deaths to date. However, there have been only eight reported deaths statewide over the past week.

Courtney said the city is taking steps to ensure that its citizens can remain healthy, especially as the Fourth of July holiday nears next week.

“Almost all of our summer events have either been canceled or greatly reduced so that we don’t expect to have the large influx of people from out of town that we normally expect,” Courtney said. “We will be installing hand sanitizing stations up and down Main Street so that those that are out enjoying our shops and restaurants can stay healthy as well as those that will be attending the fireworks. The important thing is keep doing those things that we have been doing.”