The St. Joseph County, Indiana Health Department announced two new positive COVID-19 test results Thursday morning, bringing the total number in the county up to five. The City of South Bend announced more steps it's taking against the virus.
South Bend Mayor James Mueller declared a local disaster emergency, effective at 2 p.m. Mueller also issued a travel advisory which restricts all non-essential travel.
Some examples of essential travel are going to work, doctor visits, going to the grocery store, picking up food from restaurants, bank visits, and dropping off at daycare. This travel advisory does not limit people walking outdoors.
Mueller said if the City needs to go into a higher level travel advisory, people could potentially face fines if caught.
“We need people to follow this so we can get ahead of it because we don’t want to enforce this, but we will if we have to,” Mueller said.
Mueller urged residents to follow the restrictions and stay home.
“The sooner we can get ahead of this curve, the less likely we’ll have to take some of those extreme measures you’ve seen in other cities where people have been on lockdown.”
Officials said there are about 500 more COVID-19 tests from the county currently pending.
In the meantime, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today reported 17 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 56 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. Two Hoosiers have died. (Note: The latest state statistics do *not* reflect the most up to date information out of St. Joseph County that was announced earlier today.)
The new cases involve residents of Howard (3), Lake (1), Marion (8), Owen (1), St. Joseph (2), Tippecanoe (1) and Wayne (1) counties. The list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence.