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CDC team to work with Elkhart County officials to slow spike of COVID-19

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - More help is coming to Elkhart County to help slow the spike of coronavirus cases.

Officials say trying to figure out why coronavirus cases continue to rise in Elkhart County is no walk in the park.

“Our cases are spiking and we are also seeing a spike in the younger age group which is very concerning,” City of Elkhart spokesperson Corinne Straight-Reed says.

It is a concern that warrants a visit from the CDC who met with the Elkhart County Health Department Tuesday to find a way to drive off all the positive cases.

“They are actually going to be here for a couple of weeks to meet people, to look around, to get through all this massive data that we have, and to be able to make some recommendations to us,” Elkhart County Executive Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz explains.

While Elkhart County remains the only county in Indiana at Stage 4, Elkhart city officials decided to shut down Elkhart pools, like Pierre Moran Park Swimming Pool and McNaughton Spray Park, just five days after they reopened with safety restrictions, saying it was a tough decision they needed to make.

“This was just one more step we had to take, it wasn’t one that we wanted to. We knew it was just the right decision at this time and it was necessary to take this additional step to do all that we can to slow down the spread,” Straight-Reed says.

And even though Mertz says the coronavirus does not like to grow in water, it is the people the water bring that residents should be worried about.

“Even if you are swimming in a lake or something, the water is good. It’s just that you are around people and people are the ones who spread it,” Mertz says.

And in order to stop the spread, Mertz advises residents to do what health officials have recommended since the very beginning.

“Keep distancing, keep masking up, and keep washing your hands. Those things will allow Elkhart County to be able to open up.

Following Tuesday morning’s meeting with the CDC, Mertz says the CDC will have have four of its team members from Atlanta working in Elkhart County directly with local health officials. Two additional members will be working remotely, as well, all to support one common goal: to slow the spread of coronavirus cases in Elkhart County.

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