COVID-19 spreading in Michiana, Delta variant making its move

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeing red and when looking at a map from their website that tracks community spread of COVID-19, all that red means a whole lot of spread.

“They look at two different factors; one is the number of cases per 100,000 population over the preceding week, and then the percent positivity of all tests in the preceding week,” Dr. Mark Fox says. He is the Deputy Health Officer with the St. Joseph County Health Department.

Those metrics are moving up in Michiana. There are seven counties the CDC moved to the orange category which means “substantial” community spread. Fulton County is now at the high level, in the red.

CDC Community Spread, seven Michiana counties are in the orange.
CDC Community Spread, seven Michiana counties are in the orange.(WNDU)

So what is going on?

“It likely represents the impact of the Delta variant,” Dr. Fox says.

I’m told hose who are unvaccinated could be fueling the spread.

”As long as there’s this low vaccination rate, we’re not going to be able to get rid of the virus or control it by any means,” Dr. Bethany Wait, Elkhart County Health Officer, says.

Just looking at data from the Indiana COVID-19 Dashboard, August 1, 2021 saw 616 positive cases and that’s in the same ballpark as August 1, 2020 when Indiana saw 789 new cases. That was before the big spike in October through January. The CDC recommends masking up indoors, whether unvaccinated or not, if you live in an area with a lot of community spread. I’m told ignoring safety suggestions won’t make the problem go away.

“This particular variant is just going be prolonged in our community, we’ll just see more individuals hospitalized and then unfortunately we’ll see more deaths,” Dr. Wait says.

I’m told hospitals aren’t overwhelmed at the moment, but hospitalizations in Indiana are on the upswing and to avoid another surge I’m told one thing you can do is just take the shot.

“Vaccination is really how we’re going to get rid of this, otherwise this is going to continue to play out like this, we’ll be talking when a new wave comes in with a new variant,” Dr. Wait says.,9753,7-406-98163_98173---,00.html

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