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St. Joseph County averaging 33 coronavirus cases per day

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:17 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The COVID-19 crisis in St. Joseph County has seemingly had more ups and downs than a roller coaster.

The county is now averaging 33 new cases per day.

Just three weeks ago, when an outbreak on the Notre Dame campus peaked, that figure was 108 cases per day.

“Notre Dame shows what other countries have done. When you have robust testing, you have robust contact tracing, and you figure out isolation of those in quarantining of those who are infected or potentially infected, you can turn around an outbreak pretty quickly,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller.

On the horizon there are still several possible bumps in the road for St. Joseph County.

“We do know that that Labor Day activities may create a bump. We are worried about, you know, potentially the first football game parties could have an impact as well,” Mueller said.

The first Notre Dame Football game is also on the mind of St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox.

“Even with reduced capacity in the stadium and no tailgating on campus we recognize a lot of people will gather to to tailgate off campus or together to watch the game either in private homes or in area restaurants and bars,” Fox said.

While Dr. Fox says there’s no evidence of transmission of the virus in classroom settings at Notre Dame, he also noted that college classes tend to last an hour or so while K through 12 students spend about six hours in the same room.

“An institution like Notre Dame has really good access to testing on campus, they have a strategy that’s been implemented for surveillance testing, those are not in place for K through 12 schools,” he said.

Several local K-12 districts plan to bring students back into buildings in September without the benefit of robust testing.

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