NEW (June 18):
New data from the Indiana State Dept. of Health indicates Elkhart County has reached its highest daily case count yet for COVID-19. The county saw at least 121 cases on Wed., June 17. Tuesday state health officials visited Elkhart County to meet with government and health leaders about the ongoing case surge. On Wednesday the state set up a free pop-up testing site for that one day only in Goshen.
Currently, Elkhart County has 2,400 COVID-19 cases and has seen 36 deaths from the virus.
Elkhart County now ranks third among all Indiana counties for the highest number of cases. Only Lake County and Marion County have more cases.
Learn more about the ISDH COVID-19 statistics here.
UPDATE (June 15):
According to the latest Indiana State Dept. of Health data released Monday, on Sunday, June 14th, Elkhart County saw its third highest daily case count of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This follows a spike on Friday, June 12th in which the county reported new cases in the triple digits.
On Sunday the county reported 87 new cases. In total the county has 2,168 cases and 34 deaths due to coronavirus.
Monday Goshen Health issued another statement on the situation in Elkhart County saying that "COVID-19 actiivity at Goshen Health continues to increase at a concerning rate."
Goshen Health's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Dan Nafziger, says, "It is disappointing how many people don't appear concerned about this virus, but they don't see the really sick patients I do. Unfortunately, this virus is not going away anytime soon. We must act now if we are going to slow the spread of COVID-19."
Just last week Goshen Health reported 15% of those tested last week at its facility had results come back positive for the virus. That is higher than the state average. Indiana as a whole has seen 11.4% of tests come back positive.
NEW (June 13):
According to the latest Indiana State Dept. of Health data released Saturday, on Fri., June 12th Elkhart County reported 103 new daily COVID-19 cases. That is the highest daily number yet in the county, based on current statistics.
As of Friday, Elkhart County had 2,030 cases and 32 deaths. Only three other counties in Indiana have more cases.
In May, Elkhart County saw a surge in cases. From the start of the pandemic until May 1st, Elkhart County had 295 cases. By May 31st, Elkhart County had 1,313 cases, an increase of 1,018 cases in the month of May.
So far in just the first 12 days of June, the county has seen an additional 717 new cases.
UPDATE ( June 9):
Elkhart County now has the 4th most cases (1,800) of any county in Indiana. Only Marion, Lake and Allen counties have more cases. As of yesterday (Mon., June 8) Elkhart County reported its 5th highest number of cases since the pandemic started, with 60 new cases being reported.
Neighboring St. Joseph County is commenting on the rise in cases in Elkhart County. The St. Joe Co. Health Dept. issued the following statement in a news release:
Elkhart County saw a 350% increase in cases during the month of May whereas St. Joseph County saw a 100% increase in cases during the same time period. The Public Health Order that went into effect in May only in St. Joseph County is likely contributing to decreased transmission of COVID 19 in St. Joseph County compared to similar counties that have not adopted the order.
(Posted June 8):
Saturday, June 6, Elkhart County reported 82 new COVID-19 cases. That marks the third highest daily case report for the county since the pandemic began.
Since May 29, Elkhart County has seen three of its highest daily case counts in the span of just nine days. Last week, Indiana's top health official said she had been in touch with the mayors of Elkhart and Goshen to try and provide assistance to slow the surge in cases.
Today Goshen Health issued a statement regarding the ongoing increase in COVID-19 cases in Elkhart County.
(Here is part of that statement.)
People returning to work, a relaxation of social distancing and not wearing masks in public are some of the reasons for the increases – it is vital that the community work together to stop the spread of the virus.
“The most important step we can take is to keep our guard up. We need to do everything we know to reduce our exposure and likelihood of transmitting the virus,” said Dr. Daniel Nafziger, Hospital Chief Medical Officer. “Across the system, our healthcare workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients have not contracted the virus – as long as they were wearing the prescribed PPE. This provides reassurance that taking precautions makes all the difference. For the public, this means wearing masks is still one of the most critical actions that will make a difference.”
UPDATE (June 5):
Based on the latest statistics released by the Indiana State Dept. of Health, Elkhart County has seen its highest number yet of daily COVID-19 cases. On June 4, the county reported 91 cases on just that day.
Also in a new New York Times article posted today, the Elkhart region came in 14th in the nation for "Where the Outbreak is Worst Now." The ranking is based on the number of new cases in the last two week.s
Additionally, in the category of "Where Outbreaks Might Come Next," the Niles, Michigan, area made the list at #11.
The article says this ranking is based on highest average dailly growth rate of cases.
Friday afternoon Indiana's top health officer, Dr. Kris Box, commented on the surging numbers in Elkhart County.
She said, "Specifically, we have worked with the mayors of Goshen and Elkhart and also the county council and the local health officer there on an outbreak or increased number of cases in the Latino population up there, so we've been working very closely with them."
She said the area may be seeing less respect for social distancing or wearing a mask. She said, "We must continue to educate the populations there."
COVID-19 cases are continuing to surge in Elkhart. The County reported it’s second highest jump in new daily COVID-19 cases during the pandemic on June 3rd. That's according to data posted by the Indiana State Department of Health.
Elkhart County saw 69 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on June 3rd. The New York Times listed Elkhart County as having one of the nation’s highest daily COVID-19 growth rates just last week.
The County's Emergency Management Director Jennifer Tobey says the spike is alarming and could have something to do with manufacturers reopening.
“In the manufacturing world, with line work, sometimes you just can’t maintain that six feet and as hot as it’s been, I think it’s been challenging for the employees to keep a mask on.”
Tobey also says there’s been more COVID-19 testing in the Elkhart but it wouldn’t be the entire reason behind the huge jumps in positive cases.
She says the County is trying to do more outreach, especially in the Amish and Latino communities.
Tobey also says State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box has stepped in to offer some extra guidance in controlling the County's coronavirus surge.
Based on the latest data posted by the IN State Dept. of Health, on June 1st Elkhart County saw its 3rd highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started. On June 1 the county reported 63 new cases.
The county's highest tally for a daily case count during the pandemic occurred on May 29. Originally the state reported that Elkhart County had 107 new cases that day. That number has since been revised down to 86.
The second highest number of daily cases in the county is 64. Elkhart County saw that many cases on two different days, May 20 and May 30.
Today (Mon., June 1) Goshen Health made a statement about the increasing cases of COVID-19 being seen in Elkhart County.
(Some of that statement is below.)
From March 11th through mid-May, the percentage of positive cases tested through Goshen Health averaged approximately 12% percent of the total tested. In the week of May 17th, the percent jumped to 23 percent.
The vast majority of testing is completed at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine and Urgent Care location on Elkhart Road. While initially the pandemic caused a decrease in visits to this facility, the number of visits recently increased to approximately 160 visits a day from May 26-29. It should be noted that prior to COVID-19, the most patients seen on a single day at the Urgent Care was 120.
“We’re very concerned about these increases,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, Hospital Chief Medical Officer.
23 new cases from May 31 in Elkhart County were reported today by the Indiana State Dept. of Health. However, on Mondays the numbers of reported cases have typically been lower after coming off the weekends when agencies are not working in their most robust capacity.
The newest figures released by the Indiana State Dept. of Health show Elkhart reporting a huge spike in COVID-19 cases on May 29. Friday 107 new cases were reported. Throughout the entire pandemic prior to that, the highest number of daily cases ever reported in Elkhart County was 65 on May 20.
Earlier this week The New York Times reported that Elkhart County was poised to become an emerging COVID-19 hotspot, based on average daily growth rates of coronavirus.
Meantime, State health officials say 13 more Indiana residents have died from COVID-19, while nearly 700 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The Indiana State Department of Health said Saturday that the 13 new deaths increased Indiana’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths to 1,958. Another 167 people have died from probable infections of COVID-19 and those deaths increase Indiana’s confirmed or presumed COVID-19 deaths to 2,125 since the state’s first deaths was recorded on March 15. The state agency says an additional 693 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing Indiana’s total number of confirmed cases to 34,211.