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St. Joseph County officials provide update on COVID-19, discuss Gov. Holcomb plan

St. Joseph County officials held a press conference Friday afternoon to provide updates on the COVID-19 response. Officials expressed disappointment with the governor's decision to begin lifting restrictions in stages over the next few weeks.

Dr. Mark Fox said the county has 643 total cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths. There have been 6,899 tests completed with an average of 2.4 days to receive results.

There are currently 39 people hospitalized with COVID-19 or are suspected to have COVID-19.

The county has the ability to conduct 350 tests per weekday and Dr. Fox says the new state testing facility should be able to conduct an additional 125-160 tests per weekday.

He said they're optimistic about the trends, that the numbers have flattened sufficiently and hopes the peak won't be as high as projected.

Dr. Fox added you should continue social distancing and other recommendations for keeping yourself healthy. He also recommends wearing a face covering when out and about.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller also spoke at the conference and said he disagrees with Governor Holcomb's decision to begin reopening the economy on Monday.

"I am still astounded by the governor's announcement earlier today. Just astounded. I felt that the governor has responded appropriately until now but on this decision I could not disagree more. We're not ready to reopen." Mueller said.

Mueller said St. Joseph County had the second highest increase in cases across the state on Thursday.

He said we haven't seen the peak, or 14 days of a decline in cases, which are benchmarks for reopening cited by the CDC and the White House.

Mueller said he will work with a data driven plan that balances economy and public health.

St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney said residents should follow the governor's advice.

He said if you don't feel comfortable going out, stay home. If your business isn't ready to reopen - stay closed.

He said it was important to give residents control over their own lives, but everyone needs to remain vigilant.

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Larry 36 days ago
It's time to reopen with the government saying we will have a worst second wave this fall it only proves what we've done so far is pointless hospitals cannot do elective procedures right now so why not jump on the government gravy train and get coronavirus payment you don't even have to be confirmed you died of it without them marking it down that it was a positive case this tells me the data is completely flawed
FrankNewman 36 days ago
Well, granted it is a tough situation for a newly elected Mayor, however he was part of Pete's community development team for awhile. Mueller's 32 point plan in getting elected didn't have emergency funding of any kind for a huge disaster like this. So it proves he was picked to do the same as all the previous Dem Mayors for the last 50 years. Protect the party's interests, screw the people who invest in small businesses and let their real estate buddies cash in on all the defaults and closings. Real Estate execs who don't even live in the city limits. Put love the money grab when it is there. One party rule for 50 years is not democracy, in most countries it is communism. South Bend would be better served with a Republican Mayor, when there is a Republican Gov, Senators, and House Reps, not to mention a President , and a Vice President who was an Indiana gov. huge disadvantage for SB in the world of politics. No doubt SB is being leveraged because of it. What part of the 32 point plan Mueller had covered that possibly, he's not good at watching what can creep up on him. More of the same for the next four years, get use to it SB.
Chad 36 days ago
because he is a democrat,,if you have not figured it out yet ,,this whole thing is a scam to remove trump ,voting by mail,,democrats want everything closed and as painful as possible to hurt trump regardless of collateral damage
Liz Chad 36 days ago
This is not political. His response is backed by data, and people will follow or not based on their comfort level, not by whether they are Republican or Democrat. Get real and quit trying to divide us at a time when we need to feel united.
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