Elkhart Co. officials wary ahead of start of Indiana's Phase 4

NOW: Elkhart Co. officials wary ahead of start of Indiana’s Phase 4


ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – County officials said Thursday that the growing severity of the coronavirus is cause for further caution ahead of the early start to Phase 4 of Indiana’s Back on Track plan.

“The mayors (in the county) are very concerned, so I think they would like to see us take at least a week,” Board of Commissioners President Mike Yoder said.

“However the state, which has more resources than we do for medical expertise, has more medical expertise perhaps then we do. If they’re saying we’re fine, the commissioners are not ready to override that decision.”

Part of the restrictions set to be eased is at parks, including letting families use playgrounds.

“Playgrounds, we have not made any final decisions on those,” County Parks Department Director Ronda DeCaire said.
“The Governor did tell us that it was until further notice that we thought there was going to be a further extension, but we just found out yesterday there is a possibility that those can be opening on Friday.”

DeCaire agrees with Yoder that overall vigilance in the county hasn’t kept up with the seriousness of the rising cases.

“From my perspective, I don’t always see people taking it seriously in our community,” DeCaire said.
“I know personally, when I’ve gone grocery shopping I see very few people with masks anymore. I see people getting into other people’s personal space. We need to realize that it’s still here and it still affects people.”

County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz told ABC57 Thursday that she and other county and city leaders will meet in the coming days to determine if any added restrictions should be placed for the public.

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