Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz gave a COVID-19 update at the Elkhart Kiwanis Club’s regular meeting held virtually Tuesday afternoon. She re-emphasized the dire situation at local hospitals.
“People who think there’s going to be car accidents and they can go to the emergency room and be taken care of – that’s not true," Mertz said. "That’s the seriousness of what we’re seeing now.”
She also talked about the steep increase in positive cases since the start of November – out of roughly 1,000 tests at the beginning of the month, Mertz said about 200 a day would come back positive. As of Sunday, she said the county is still doing about 1,000 tests a day, but the number coming back positive has jumped to 300.
Mertz said that increase needs to slow in order to spare hospitals and healthcare workers from a post-holiday surge.
“There’s been a spike after every holiday, and no holidays are bigger than Thanksgiving and Christmas," Mertz said. "So we have to get these numbers to at least stabilize.”
According to data from the Indiana State Department of Health, over 35 percent of Elkhart County’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred in just the last month.
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