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OCTOBER 19 - 24

Whether everyone realized it or not, the corona virus was the top story in Northwest Indiana this week -- or at least should have been.

Northwest Indiana set a single day record for reported COVID-19 cases on October 22, led by the highest case load ever in Lake County.The Region hit a seven-day positivity rate of 9.8% causing many health commissioners throughout the Region to urge their citizens not to let their guard down about the precautions needed to stay healthy. Anything over 5% is alarming to health professionals.

The state health department reported 390 cases across the five-county region, with a record 238 in Lake County alone. There were no deaths reported in the region on Friday, October 23. Lake County is now averaging about 184 cases a day (based on the week of October 19 - 23, 2020). The region is averaging more than 300 cases a day, about triple the number seen at the end of last month.

Government Workers and First Responders Seeing Covid-19 Rise

The City of East Chicago is seeing a rise in Covid-19 Cases among children and families, Health Department Director Diana Garcia-Burns said. The city has had a total of 647 cases since April. However, they are reporting 206 new cases just between September 30 and October 21. Hispanics make up over half of the total reported cases.

The city is only reporting 24 deaths since June but African Americans account for 13, Hispanic 8 and 3 were white. All deaths were of people 60 or older.

Many cases are being tracked back to small gatherings such as family outings and events.

With the rising cases, the city will remain in Stage 4, with restaurants, bars, churches and nightclubs allowed at 50% capacity.

Lake Station City Council meeting was canceled on Tuesday because the Lake Station City Hall was closed because of cleaning after An employee who works for the city of Lake Station has tested positive for COVID-19.

Just two days later, Lake Station Mayor Bill Carroll, 41, reported he had contracted the virus and was working from home. He told his citizens that Covid-19 was real and to take this virus seriously.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that Covid-19 was showing up in those school districts that opened up in August and September.

The Duneland School Corporation is reporting the first case of COVID-19 at Brummitt Elementary School this past week. However, Duneland has been reporting cases weekly.

A Brummitt student tested positive on Friday morning. Eight persons have been identified as close contacts of the student and will be quarantined for 14 days.

Also: A Chesterton High School student tested positive on Sunday morning and another student tested positive Monday morning. Three persons have been identified as close contacts with the student who tested positive on Sunday and will be quarantined. The student in question was last in the school building on Monday, Oct. 12.

As people flock inside as it begins to get cold and as pandemic fatigue continues, health officials urge Hoosiers not to let their guard down. This summer, a lot of those under the age of 20 in Indiana were being infect by the Covid-19 virus, but now there’s been an increase in people over 40 catching the virus.

State Takes Action At Nursing Homes

On Wednesday October 21, As Governor Eric Holcomb provided his weekly update on Indiana without state health commissioner Kristina Box, because of her positive test for Covid-19, and acknowledged a surge in cases within the last two weeks, he assured citizens that he would keep the state open at level 5.

Also, A new report by the American Health Care Association shows nursing homes could see a third spike of new COVID-19 cases because of community spread among the general population.

Over in Boone County, one long-term care center has seen three additional deaths and 24 new COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, according to the county health department.

More than 50% of COVID-19 deaths in Indiana are linked to the state’s long-term care facilities.

Holcomb said members of the Indiana National Guard will help at long-term care facilities, and the state will hire additional clinical staff who will visit facilities and train employees on best practices, Holcomb said. The guard will begin assisting on Nov. 1 with testing, screening and reporting procedures at the facilities.

Gary Health Commissioner Roland Walker provided suggestions to families as the holiday season approaches. You can listen to his suggestions here: https://static.wixstatic.com/mp3/71c683_614a55051bcd420798e1c23d230dc26c.mp3

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