MARSHALL (KMHL) – Local health officials believe we are seeing a sharp rise in the amount of COVID-19 cases in the area.

According to a press release, from Avera Marshall, recent local testing is showing a significant increase in the amount of positive cases.

Avera says in testing events held in Tyler and Marshall between July 8th and 17th there have been 93 positive cases identified between the two sites over the 10 day period.

“We saw a sharp rise in testing at the Avera Marshall collection site during this timeframe with a number of people coming from the Lincoln County area,” said Mary Maertens, Avera Marshall Regional President and CEO. “Holding an event in Tyler offered a convenient option for Lincoln County residents who were otherwise driving the 25 miles to Marshall for testing.”

According to Avera, 16 of the cases were confirmed at the Tyler event, the remaining 77 came through the Marshall site. In all, the organization says it accounts for an 8.8 percent positivity rate.

“With an overall 8.8 percent positivity rate, the expanded availability of testing during this time was absolutely warranted,” said Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steven Meister. “We are grateful to individuals who participated in testing. By identifying people with the virus and asking them to isolate, we can help slow the spread.”

Testing continues to be offered in Marshall. Officials urge those who are interested in getting tested to contact the 1-877-AT-AVERA phone number.

In the meantime, local health officials urge residents to continue following safety measures to control the spread of COVID-19.