During the weekly St. Joseph County, Indiana COVID-19 update Friday, officials continued to stress caution as businesses start reopening and people begin venturing out.
County officials are still concerned with Governor Eric Holcomb’s “back on track” plan. They say they fear it reopens the economy too quickly.
In-person religious services are allowed to resume this weekend under the governor’s plan. Starting Monday, salons can reopen by appointment. South Bend Venues Parks and Arts plans to reopen city golf courses on Monday as well, with some restrictions.
Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox says as more places open up, he expects COVID-19 cases to increase.
“People should recognize that we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic," Fox says. "The virus has not disappeared just because spring is here or because the governor has a plan for back on track.”
Fox says the county won’t see the real impact of reopening for a few weeks since there’s a delay in test turnaround time.
But he says people should continue practicing social distancing and follow the County’s mask order to prevent a spike in cases. Fox says the mask order prevents the spread of COVID-19 best when everyone wears a mask and also keeps social distancing.
South Bend Mayor James Mueller says even with businesses reopening, the City is prepared to help residents still struggling financially due to the pandemic.
“We know the economic pain continues and we will work together to get through that,” he says.
The City is extending the suspension of water shutoffs due to non or late payments through June.
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