Elkhart Co. Health Department asking people to mask up

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Mask up… that’s the message from the Elkhart County Health Department.

They’re urging residents to help stop the spread by wearing a mask.

Elkhart is seeing a big boost in hospitalizations from COVID-19, so the health department has said people should mask up when they go out and in schools.

“We see our numbers going up, if you compare the fair we were at a positivity rate a little bit under 5 percent and now we’re up to 9.4 percent, so we’ve doubled,” says Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Bethany Wait.

Elkhart County is less than 50 percent fully vaccinated, and with more COVID cases in Indiana, the Elkhart County Health Department recommends masking up as hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to climb across the state.

“If we look back at our last three surges now is the time that we can really intervene, and no we can’t necessarily get rid of COVID but we can absolutely lower how high we go,” Wait says.

Dr. Wait says schools should be masking up as well, protecting students and staff from the delta variant. “Now is the time, I’m back here talking again wear your mask.”

And making sure that our Michiana hospitals don’t get overwhelmed, like in the heart of the pandemic, is cause for concern, so Dr. Wait’s message is not a mandate, but a call for action in hopes of avoiding a healthcare crisis.

“I think it’s going to mean our hospitals are overwhelmed and need more healthcare workers because they’re tired and we see a lot of long COVID and chronic disability,” Wait says. “That would be my greatest fear.”

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