Goshen Physicians Family Medicine and Urgent Care has seen increased activity for COVID-19 testing, Goshen Health Marketing Specialist Liz Fisher stated Tuesday via email.

Comparing figures reported by Fisher from May 24-30 with numbers from May 31 through June 6, there were over 200 more urgent care visits the first week of June.

The following numbers compare the week of May 24 to the week of May 31. The testing numbers include both those tested at the urgent care as well as those tested at the hospital.

May 24-May 30

• 782 urgent care visits

• 751 negative tests

• 118 positive tests

• 1 test still pending

• 16 hospital admissions

May 31-June 6

• 986 urgent care visits

• 753 negative tests

• 138 positive tests

• 190 tests still pending

• 17 hospital admissions

On Monday, Goshen Health officials released COVID-19 numbers they have seen since March 11. Cases handled by Goshen Health are:

• Completed 5,411 tests

• Received 4,181 negative test results

• Received 702 positive test results (14.4% of results received)

• Admitted 82 patients and discharged 68

• Confirmed 3 COVID-positive related mortalities

People returning to work, a relaxation of social distancing and not wearing masks in public are some of the reasons for the increases, Goshen Health officials stated in a news release. “It is vital that the community work together to stop the spread of the virus.”

“The most important step we can take is to keep our guard up. We need to do everything we know to reduce our exposure and likelihood of transmitting the virus,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Daniel Nafziger. “Across the system, our healthcare workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients have not contracted the virus — as long as they were wearing the prescribed PPE. This provides reassurance that taking precautions makes all the difference. For the public, this means wearing masks is still one of the most critical actions that will make a difference.”

In addition to wearing a mask, it is crucial that you practice social distancing, wash your hands, disinfect household surfaces, cover your cough and stay home as much as possible, health officials said. And, those who feel ill should stay home, call their doctor and get tested. “These simple steps will help protect you and your loved ones,” the release reads.

County numbers increase

Elkhart County saw an increase of 59 coronavirus cases in Tuesday’s update from the Indiana State Department of Health. It was the largest increase of cases locally. Noble County and St. Joseph County each reported one death.

Noble County Health Officer Terry Gaff, in a news release, said the county has experienced its first death of a person not associated with long-term care facilities, plus it has had another death in one of those facilities where there has been a known outbreak.

There has also been an outbreak of the virus at a day care center in Auburn that has resulted in a positive test for at least one child younger than 6 months old.

Here are Tuesday’s numbers:

Statewide — 38,033 positive cases, up 430; 2,158 deaths, up 23; 315,390 tested, up 6,015 with 12.1% testing positive.

Elkhart County — 1,800 positive cases, up 59; 29 deaths, zero new; 13,026 tested.

LaGrange County — 181 positive cases, up 10; two deaths, zero new; 795 tested.

Noble County — 305 positive cases, up six; 23 deaths, up one; 2,134 tested.

Kosciusko County — 242 positive cases, up 10; two deaths, zero positive; 2,572 tested.

St. Joseph County — 1,437 positive cases, up 19; 43 deaths, up one (the health department is reporting a higher number); 16,395 tested.

Marshall County — 230 positive cases,up three; two deaths, zero new; 2,378 tested.

Middlebury Summer Festival canceled The Middlebury Summer Festival committee has chosen to cancel the Aug. 14 and 15 festival.

In the midst of the pandemic and the many difficult health requirements of safety set forth by the state and county for guests, the committee members said they felt it is impossible to conduct the festival this year.

“Social distancing and facility sanitation is an overwhelming impossible target to achieve with the consideration that many of our guests are included in the category of ‘at-risk’ individuals,” committee members wrote in a news release. “Having entertainment inside of a tent where attendees are seated less than 6 feet apart or gathering in close-knit groups to watch 3-on-3 basketball is not conducive to health safety. Standing in line for festival food usually results in less than recommended distancing. Lining the street to watch the parade shoulder to shoulder is not recommended by health officials in the state or county.

“Our county fair and the state fair have chosen to cancel their events this year because of the same guidelines. We join them in consideration of the health of the community.”

The Middlebury Summer Festival plans to be back in 2021 on Aug. 13 and 14.

Community members are invited to volunteer to help with the 2021 festival. To do so, contact Rich at rutley3732@aol.com or Jen at jlpro22@aol.com.Maple City Health Care offering COVID-19 testing

For the past week, Maple City Health Care Center has been offering coronavirus testing at no charge to community members with symptoms or who have a coronavirus-positive household member. Testing is available on a first-come-first-served basis in the parking lot of North Goshen Mennonite Church, 501 N. Eighth St., Goshen, generally from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The site is staffed with bilingual (English/Spanish) staff. They use the Abbott test system, with results available within 15 minutes.

Center officials expect to open a second testing site with similar testing equipment within a week.

ISDH releases guidance for outdoor visitation

Due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions, it has been almost three months since families of long-term care centers have been able to visit in-person with their loved ones. On June 3, the Indiana State Department of Health released new guidance for outdoor family visitation.

American Senior Communities officials said they understand residents and families are anxious to connect and is working hard to develop policies and protocols based on the new guidance to keep residents and employees safe while reintroducing family visitation.

Only ASC communities that meet specific criteria can allow visitations to occur.

Visitors of approved communities will be screened, asked to sign-in, wear a face mask and adhere to proper social distancing along with other criteria during the visitation. Residents must also wear a mask during the visit and meet additional criteria as well.

ASC families are asked to review the criteria provided by ISDH and will be notified when their loved ones’ community qualifies for these outdoor visitations.Four Winds Casino to reopen MondayThe Pokagon Gaming Authority recently announced that all of its Four Winds Casinos locations in Michigan and Indiana will reopen to the public at noon Monday Eastern time.

Each Four Winds Casino location has implemented changes to their amenities and services to help protect the health and safety of guests and employees.

Frank Freedman, chief operating officer of Four Winds Casinos said, “As the health and safety of our guests and employees, has been and continues to remain our top priority, we will be opening with some changes to our amenities and services.”

Upon entering each casino through designated entrances, guests will be required wear a mask and be screened using touchless temperature check technology. The age of guests will be restricted to those 21 and older as some non-gaming amenities will be closed. The number of active slot machines has been reduced and in some cases chairs and machines have been moved while popular games have Plexiglass dividers to help ensure social distancing guidelines. There will also be reduced seating at table games.

Additional cleaning teams have been added in every area of the casinos with a focus on frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces. All Four Winds team members will also be washing and sanitizing their hands more frequently, for at least 20 seconds and practicing respiratory etiquette.

Dining venues will be limited with seating and hours of operation. Touchless menus will be available at each restaurant using a scanned QR code and a disposable menu will be provided upon request. There will be more spacing in between tables and party sizes will be limited. Self-service beverage stations will now be equipped with a team member for assistance.

Additional procedures and service modifications to protect the health and safety of guests and employees include:

• Masks will be worn by all employees

• Additional signage containing COVID-19 prevention and social distancing reminders with be posted throughout each casino location

• Rescheduled entertainment will be announced as dates are confirmed

• Valet and group shuttle service will not be offered

• The buffets will be closed

Hand sanitizer sale benefits JA, Startup Moxie

Those who are looking to stock up on hand sanitizer and are interested in “lending a hand” to local nonprofits can purchase sanitizer from Junior Achievement and Startup Moxie. These Elkhart County nonprofits have partnered together, along with Kem Krest, to sell hand sanitizer to benefit their youth entrepreneurship programs in the community. All proceeds from the sale will support Junior Achievement and Startup Moxie in Elkhart County, and boxes of sanitizer will also be donated to Elkhart Community Schools.

Kem Krest, an Elkhart-based supply chain company, recently began to produce hand sanitizer spray. The company started producing hand sanitizer in March as a response to shortages especially for first responders and organizations on the front line of the pandemic.

Cost for a box of Kem Krest hand sanitizer spray, which includes 12-count of 4-oz. bottles, is $50. The boxes can be placed at employee workstations, or given out to friends and family, Kem Krest official said.

To purchase, pick a nonprofit to purchase from using the following links: Junior Achievement serving Elkhart County at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/jaoechsf/event/815825/ or Startup Moxie Elkhart County at startupmoxieelkhartcounty.kindful.com/e/handsanitizer

In addition, Kem Krest officials said, the public can “lend a hand” and donate a box to Elkhart Community Schools classrooms for an additional $50.

The sale continues until June 17 or until sold out. There are 141 boxes per nonprofit available. Orders can be picked up with a drive-through system set from 3-6 p.m. June 18 and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 19 at Jimtown High School, 59021 C.R. 3, Elkhart. These are for advance sale orders only.

The Kem Krest hand sanitizer spray meets Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. It is also Food and Drug Administration approved, according to Kem Krest.

History museum reopeningThe History Museum in South Bend is reopening to the public Sunday after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Normal operating hours will resume: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The adjoining Studebaker National Museum will also reopen that day.

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