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Update from Dr. Lydia Mertz, Health Officer

Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2020 7:13:14 AM EDT

Health Department News Release 6/15/20 (PDF)

Lydia Mertz, MD
Elkhart County Health Officer
June 15, 2020

As you know, Elkhart County is in the midst of a Coronavirus outbreak that is hitting the county hard. The recent mask guidance will help you decide how best to use a mask to protect your family and neighbors. This is in addition to all the other measures we have been talking about for the past few months: wash your hands frequently with soap and water; use social distancing of 6 feet whenever possible; if not possible to distance, wear a mask; clean frequently touched surfaces often; stay home if you are feeling ill. We all need to be doing all these things to bring down the rate of Covid-19 in Elkhart County.

I also want to give you some of the data I see, to let you know how things are going.

  • Week of May 24-30 we saw 307 new cases, out of 1,964 tests, for a positivity rate of 15.6%
  • Week of May 31-June 6 we saw 413 cases out of 2,541 tests, for a positivity rate of 16.2%
  • Week of June 7-13, we have seen 375 new cases, but the numbers on tests are still coming in as of this writing. The preliminary numbers look like the positivity rate will continue to climb, possibly to close to 20%.

When we see the rate of positive cases increasing that fast, we have cause for alarm. We need to act now, prevent an even steeper increase, and get the curve flattened. Only by being far more vigilant in our actions as we encounter and interact with others can we prevent more disease and death. Please remember, we have no treatment or vaccine for this virus. The only way to control the spread is by our own actions. Let’s all look to flatten the curve and keep each other safe!

Lydia Mertz, MD
Elkhart County Health Officer
608 Oakland Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516