background_fid.png
Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Indiana News

30 Days Ago, St. Joseph County Rescinded Its Mask Mandate. Now COVID Cases Are At Lowest Level Ever

ManWithMask.jpg
Justin Hicks/IPB News
/

 

On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control announced that vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks. That same day, St. Joseph County rescinded its face mask order.

 

And as WVPE reported on June 10, coronavirus cases are at their lowest levels ever — they’re down 70 percent from a month ago.

 

“I think the CDC got the science right about what is safe for people who are fully vaccinated to do,” deputy health officer Dr. Mark Fox said. “I’m really encouraged that we haven’t seen an uptick in cases with the change in the mask guidance.”

 

However, he said it is hard to manage that guidance at a public policy level and urged everyone to get vaccinated. The county is still concerned about the spread of new variants.

 

“More than 50 percent of the county is not yet fully vaccinated,” Fox said. “When you walk in a public place, statistically half the people in there should be wearing masks. They’re not.”

 

Still, it’s a good sign that cases are so low a month out from rescinding the mandate.

 

That was right before Memorial Day and school graduation season. Past holidays during the pandemic led to big spikes in cases.

 

“As we get to the fall, have a lot more travel going on, weather gets bad — again, all that can change pretty quickly,” he said. “But the real risk is if we get one of these more contagious variants.”

 

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

 

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating here.