NEW (Dec. 2):
The Indiana State Dept. of Health updated its county-by-county COVID-19 map Wednesday. The latest changes show that Elkhart County is no longer in the "red" category. LaGrange County still remains in the red. Overall, 16 counties are now in the red. That number is down from last week. The newest data shows that statewide hospitalizations are at an all-time high. Nearly all of Indiana remains in the greatest-risk categories for coronavirus spread in an update that also shows a new high for average daily COVID-19 deaths for the state. Health officials on Wednesday added 91 confirmed recent COVID-19 deaths. The state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has now reached 60 per day.
The change in Elkhart County's status prompted Elkhart County's Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz to issue a statement.
(You can read that below.)
Elkhart County has moved back to the orange level this week, based on our falling 7-day average positivity rate. This rate has been as low as 13.7% during the Thanksgiving holiday, but over the past few days, we are seeing it rise again. Our 7-day positivity rate is 14.5% on the State site today. The ISDH red metric restrictions state, “When a county is in the red metric, these requirements remain in effect until
the metric has returned to orange or lower for two weeks.”
Therefore, even though the county has moved to orange this week, the same restrictions will continue until we have achieved positivity rates that demonstrate a continuing downward trend and the ability to maintain control over the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The longer-term goal of the Elkhart County Health Department is to achieve a positivity rate of less than 10%, and a weekly cases per 100,000 residents rate of less than 200. This would place the county in the yellow metric, and allow for many of us to return to the activities we love to do. We need to keep physically distancing, washing hands, and masking up until we have an effective vaccine in widespread use.
El Condado de Elkhart ha vuelto al nivel naranja esta semana, en base a nuestra tasa de positividad promedio de 7 días en descenso. Esta tasa ha sido tan baja como 13.7% durante las vacaciones de Acción de Gracias, pero en los últimos días, estamos viendo que aumenta de nuevo. Nuestra tasa de positividad de 7 días es del 14.5% en el sitio estatal hoy. Las restricciones de la métrica roja de ISDH establecen, "Cuando un condado está en la métrica roja, estos requisitos permanecen en vigor hasta que la métrica haya vuelto a naranja o más baja durante dos semanas".
Por lo tanto, aunque el condado se ha mudado a naranja esta semana, las mismas restricciones
continuarán hasta que logremos tasas de positividad que demuestren una tendencia descendente continua y la capacidad de mantener el control sobre la propagación del virus SARS-CoV-2. El objetivo a largo plazo del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Elkhart es lograr una tasa de positividad de menos del 10% y una tasa de casos semanales por 100,000 residentes de menos de 200. Esto colocaría al Condado en la métrica amarilla y permitiría que muchos de nosotros volvieramos a las actividades que amamos hacer. Necesitamos mantenernos distanciados físicamente, lavarnos las manos y enmascararnos hasta que tengamos una vacuna eficaz de uso generalizado.
Lydia Mertz, MD
Elkhart County Health Officer
EARLIER POST (Dec. 1):
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of COVID-19 deaths in Indiana has nearly doubled for November from a month earlier as health officials continue adding to those reports and the state’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations remain at their highest point during the pandemic. The Indiana State Department of Health added 142 deaths to the statewide toll with its daily update on Tuesday. Most of those deaths occurred over the past week. Those boost Indiana’s coronavirus deaths during November to at least 1,416 people _ surpassing the previous monthly peak during April by nearly 400. Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday also signed an extension of the state’s public health emergency through Dec. 31.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s hospitals had more COVID-19 patients than ever before over the Thanksgiving weekend and the number under intensive care unit treatment also continued its recent steep increase. The Indiana State Department of Health’s daily update on Monday also reported 38 more coronavirus deaths occurring over the past several days. November has been Indiana’s deadliest COVID-19 month and health officials have raised concerns about Thanksgiving gatherings leading to another surge in cases. Indiana hospitals were treating 3,401 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday _ about a 350% increase since late September.