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Elkhart County Health Officials Provide Update On Local Pandemic

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Elkhart County Health officials provided updates on Monday, Oct. 12, on the state of the pandemic in Elkhart County.


In an email released on behalf of Elkhart County Health Officer, Dr. Lydia Mertz, new information indicates that the county has had 12 COVID-19 deaths in the first 10 days of October, averaging more than one a day. 

Elkhart County health officials also believe they are starting to see suspected cases of re-infection.

Meanwhile, in an email release from Goshen Health, Goshen Hospital reported about the same number of COVID-19 patients needing to be hospitalized as last week. But, Chief Medical Officer Dan Nafziger said that hospitals are seeing more serious cases of the virus.

Both Nafziger and Mertz emphasized the importance of wearing masks to prevent reinfection and asymptomatic spread. 

(You can read the full emailed statement from Dr. Mertz below.)

We learn more constantly about SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, Covid-19. We have made some progress in treating the most severely ill, but this virus is still taking a terrible toll. Our death count for the first 10 days of October is 12—more than one new death each day.  And we are learning that some people, even those with milder disease, can have lingering symptoms for weeks or longer after they recover from the illness. This is especially notable for fatigue, but other symptoms persist as well. The loss of the sense of smell or taste can last months, and in some cases we aren’t sure it will ever return. We don’t yet know the long-term effects on the respiratory, cardiac, and neurological systems. In addition, we are now seeing a few documented cases of re-infection months after the initial infection. We aren’t yet sure how common this will be, but in some cases the second infection was severe for that individual.  
We currently continue to see very large numbers of infections, and in view of what can happen in the future of infected individuals, please take care to do all you can to protect your loved one, your neighbors, and yourself!

  • Wash you hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer
  • Watch you distance—keep 6 feet from anyone not in your household
  • Wear a mask. Your mask protects others, and their masks protect you. Because 40% of people who test positive have no symptoms but still spread the virus, everyone needs to wear a mask even if they feel well.

(You can read the full statement from Goshen Health below.)

GOSHEN, Ind., October 12, 2020 – Goshen Hospital reports the number of COVID-19 patients needing to be hospitalized is about the same as last week, in the low 20s.

“The increase in the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 is of concern to us, but we are also seeing more serious cases of the virus,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, Goshen Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Infectious Disease Specialist. “Older adults and those with health conditions continue to be most vulnerable to having a more serious, or fatal, case of the virus. We need to be aware of the elevated risk of the people we love who are older or more frail. We must do everything we can to protect them. If you haven’t made a habit of wearing a mask when indoors in public, then please do. People can become infected a second time so even if you think you have already had COVID-19, wearing a mask demonstrates you care about the people around you.”

Below is COVID-19 activity for Goshen Health as of October 12, going back to March 11.

17,121 tests completed
2,115 positive test results (overall positivity rate of 12.5%)
14,796 negative test results
143 outstanding test results

310 hospital admissions
291 hospital discharges
33 confirmed COVID-19 positive related mortalities

These numbers are updated daily Monday to Friday at

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