The following message is from the Elkhart County Health Department:

Elkhart County is in the middle of a large, troubling spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. We have seen a steady increase in new cases since the middle of September, and there is no sign of a leveling off or a decrease in these cases. We actually are almost at the same level we were at when we were a national “hot spot.” This is community spread coming back to exact a terrible toll on the people of this county—both in terms of illness and in death. Both of our local hospitals are full, and are very concerned about how best to deal with more Covid-19 illness.

Our neighboring counties are also seeing unwelcome increases in the amount of Covid-19. It appears some people are thinking we no longer need to wear masks, distance, wash hands, or stay home when sick. Most of us are tired of living with the changes the coronavirus has required us to make, and want to take a break from all that. However, the coronavirus is not tired of us! It continues to spread to susceptible people, causing illness in both those with pre-existing conditions and in otherwise young, healthy people. Many county residents are unaware that pandemics are typically measured in years, not in weeks, months, or seasons. The development of an effective vaccine is our chance to cut that time shorter.

I urge everyone to strengthen your resolve to make this community a safe place to live, and to protect those most defenseless to the effects of the coronavirus infection. Keep doing the things that have proven to work in the past in this county and elsewhere:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public places, even if outdoors and unable to maintain 6 feet distance from others.
  • Wash your hands often, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep 6 feet distance from others not in your household, even when outside.
  • Stay home if you are ill.

If you are exposed to someone who has Covid-19, or are feeling ill, even if the symptoms are mild, get tested. Testing is essential to getting the spread of the virus down, and keeping it down.

Here is the latest information on Elkhart County’s positive case numbers. This and more information is available at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/.