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St. Joseph County Health Officials Give COVID-19 Update

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 11:26 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The St. Joseph County Board of Health met Wednesday to give an update on COVID-19.

Dr. Mark Fox, with the St. Joseph County Department of Health, said 47.5 percent of the county is fully vaccinated.

In April he said they were giving out about 3,000 shots a day, but the number decreases every month.

He said he understands peoples’ concerns and is focused on outreach efforts.

“We have a long way to go, certainly. I feel like we have the delta variant breathing down our neck. When you look across the country and see the impact of the delta variant, some communities have been very hard hit. We haven’t yet. We actually have a chance to get ahead of it, but it really depends on people going out and getting vaccinated,” said Fox.

Fox said 20 percent of kids ages 12-16 are fully vaccinated.

“When our K-12 schools go back, elementary students wouldn’t have even had a chance yet. They aren’t even eligible yet,” Fox said.

Fox said he believes this will make the school year challenging if the delta variant takes hold in the county.

“And with the threat of the delta variant, that could really compromise educational trajectory over this next academic year...,” Fox said.

As of now, Fox said some school districts will now require masks.

Could this change?

“Unfortunately the way this is rolled out is it is rolling down to the level of the school district or school board to make decisions. Some have used the very unfortunate language that masks will be optional. What the CDC and state recommend is that anyone who is not vaccinated should be masked. That is the most important message...,” Fox said.

Fox also said schools should offer virtual options.

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