Two more COVID-19-related deaths were reported Wednesday in Elkhart County and one more in St. Joseph County, according to information provided by the Indiana State Department of Health.

The most recent deaths bring totals up to 26 deaths in Elkhart County and 31 in St. Joseph County.

Seventeen of those overall deaths have been at Greenleaf Health Campus in Elkhart. One has been at Hubbard Hill in Elkhart.

Also, Elkhart and St. Joseph counties also each saw more than 40 new coronavirus cases.

According to the ISDH, Elkhart County had 44 new cases, bringing its total of infected people to 777. St. Joseph County had an additional 40, increasing its numbers to 1,054 cases.

Here are Wednesday’s numbers:

  • Statewide — 29,274 positive cases up 581; 1,716 deaths, up 38; 195,738 tested, up 6,442.
  • Elkhart County — 777 positive cases, up 44; 26 deaths, up two; 6,265 tested.
  • LaGrange County — 56 positive cases, up four; two deaths, zero new; 370 tested.
  • Noble County — 155 positive cases, up three; 20 deaths, zero new; 826 tested.
  • Kosciusko County — 60 positive cases, zero new; one death, zero new; 1,298 tested.
  • St. Joseph County — 1,054 positive cases, up 40; 31 deaths, up one; 8,893 tested.
  • Marshall County — 50 positive cases, up six; one death, zero new; 1,067 tested.

Bethel University plans ‘drive-through’ graduation celebration

The Bethel University Alumni Association has prepared an opportunity for 2020 graduates to be part of a “drive-through” graduation celebration from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Sufficient Grounds Coffee House on Bethel’s campus in Mishawaka.

Bethel is still planning to hold a rescheduled, in-person commencement ceremony in August, but wanted to get diplomas to graduates as soon as possible and decided to create “celebration boxes” to help convey how proud faculty and staff are of this year’s graduates, Bethel officials stated in a news release.

“We really want to show our 2020 graduates that we celebrate them and we are proud of them,” Alumni Director Emily Sherwood said. “We wanted to go beyond just putting their diploma in a box and sending it home, so we decided to create a celebration in a box! Each box will have a variety of fun items, including balloons, confetti, an alumni T-shirt, and even a Bethel-themed mask, hand made for each graduate by one of our alumni.”

Graduates have the option to drive through campus and pick up their box in person, delivered to their car by a Bethel employee along with some pre-scooped Ritter’s Frozen Custard. For those who can’t make it on Friday, boxes will be mailed home next week.

“We look forward to celebrating at the ceremony in August, but we recognize that not all graduates will be able to come. So the boxes are an alternative way to honor their achievement now, closer to what would have been their graduation date in May,” Sherwood said.

For more details on the rescheduled commencement ceremony on Aug. 16, visit

Outdoor activities coming up at Das Dutchman Essenhaus

Das Dutchman Essenhaus will reopen its outdoor recreational activities. Beginning Saturday, families can enjoy a carriage ride, play a round of mini golf on the 18-hole course, or take a bicycle for a spin on the nearby Pumpkinvine Nature Trail.

A limited menu meal will be available Memorial Day, as well as all-you-can-eat family-style breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Curbside carry-out orders are available at

Holiday hours are as follows: 7 am. to 7 p.m. Monday — restaurant; bakery, 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; shops, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; mini golf and bike rental, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; carriage rides, noon to 8 p.m.; and inn, open 24 hours.

The main campus of Das Dutchman Essenhaus is located at 240 U.S. 20, Middlebury. Additional information regarding the Essenhaus can be obtained by calling 800-455-9471 or by going online to

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