Dr. Mark Fox

Screenshot via Facebook Live

Friday St. Joseph County and South Bend leaders provided an update on an ever worsening situation with COVID-19 locally.

Dr. Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer for St. Joseph County, says he expects the county will move into a "red" designation from the Indiana State Dept. of Health by the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. County Commissioner Andy Kostielney echoed that concern saying that he is also concerned about hospitals being able to provide care. 

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According to Dr. Mark Fox with the St. Joseph Co. Health Department, the county is seeing the highest number of patients in the hospital as compared with any previous point in the pandemic. He says there has also been a significant increase in deaths from COVID-19 in the county in September and October. For example, October has been the deadliest month so far. The virus has claimed 49 lives and the month isn't over. Last month, in September, 24 people died from coronavirus in the county. Fox says the increase in deaths is largely due to cases among individuals in nursing homes. 

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City and county leaders in St. Joseph County are expressing concern about the state's moving to Stage 5.

Screenshot from Facebook Live

During a biweekly news conference City of South Bend and St. Joseph County officials expressed optimism about COVID-19 statistics currently trending downward. 

"We acknowledge the impact of the cases at Notre Dame. Much of that has washed out," Dr. Mark Fox with the St. Joseph Co. Health Department said.