Covid-19 spread "out of control" in Elkhart County
ELKHART, Ind. --- Covid-19 cases in Elkhart County are soaring at such a record pace, local health officials have called the situation dire. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have all increased in the past week, and with no end in sight, many within the county are not entirely sure what the next steps are.
"Elkhart County is just about out of control," said health officer Lydia Mertz.
The county saw 1,800 Covid-19 cases in the past week alone! Hospitalizations rose to 104, and four more deaths were recorded bringing the total to 161 since March. It is an unfortunate situation that has lead Elkhart County Health Officer Lydia Mertz to call out those within the county who are not taking the virus seriously.
"There's no way to make it sound good, there are just too many people in the county that are ignoring everything that we've been telling them about mitigating the spread of Covid," said Mertz.
So what is there to do at this point?
The safety guidelines have been stressed, and continue to be, but too many residents have ignored the severity of this virus. Leaders in the community, like Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder, thinks the only way to get residents on board is to increase enforcement to those not following mitigating procedures.
"About the only thing left for us to do is step up enforcement. So we're taking a look at increasing enforcement of all the requirements of the health order, that's going to take additional resources from everybody in the county and from the cities," said Yoder.
The commissioner understands how grim things look right now, but he also understands that the entire county was warned about this by local health officials every step along the way.
"Earlier this year they kept making projections, and we couldn't quite get that bad, we would peak and start dropping off. Well, we are still waiting for the peak this time, and we continue to hit higher and higher numbers. I guess you could say the medical folks have been warning about this and now it is happening," said Yoder.
When leaders in the community aren't sure about the next steps, it could be frightening, but the county has been told what they need to do to improve the conditions.
Wash your hands, social distance, and wear a mask, but most importantly take this virus very, very seriously.