GOSHEN — Officials from Goshen Health released information on the number of people they have tested for the coronavirus and on the number of patients they have treated.

According to Goshen Health officials, recent data shows increase in COVID-19 activity at Goshen Health and across Elkhart County. Compared to previous weeks, more patients are presenting to be tested and the rate of those testing positive has risen.

Health officials said that from March 11th to date the health system has:

• Completed 4,332 tests

• Received 3,397 negative test results

• Received 573 positive test results (14.4% of results received)

• Admitted 63 patients and discharged 52

• Confirmed 2 COVID-positive related mortalities, both in March

From March 11th through mid-May, Goshen Health officials said, the percentage of positive cases tested through Goshen Health averaged approximately 12% percent of the total tested. In the week of May 17th, the percent jumped to 23 percent. The volume of testing has also increased, partly due to the wider availability of testing supplies. For March and April together, the total tests completed was 1,651. In the last four weeks alone, Goshen Health completed 2,548 tests.

The vast majority of testing is completed at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine and Urgent Care location on Elkhart Road, health officials said. While initially the pandemic caused a decrease in visits to this facility, the number of visits recently increased to approximately 160 visits a day from May 26-29. It should be noted that prior to COVID-19, the most patients seen on a single day at the Urgent Care was 120.

“We’re very concerned about these increases,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, hospital chief medical officer. “We cannot overemphasize the importance of wearing masks in public indoor spaces or when close to other people outdoors because if you get infected with this virus it can be shed 25-50 percent of the time when you have no symptoms. Masks are critical to decreasing the number of droplets you’re exposing others to when you leave your home.”

State and local authorities are currently conducting contact tracing to identify the facts behind the high infection rate in Elkhart County Goshen Health officials said. While awaiting those results, the community must continue to follow CDC guidelines, health officials said, adding, “Hand-washing, disinfecting household surfaces, wearing a mask, social distancing, covering your cough and staying home as much as possible are the best way to protect yourself and your families. Lastly, if you feel ill, stay home, call your doctor and get tested.”

“With businesses starting to reopen, we must remain diligent and continue to take this virus seriously,” said Randy Christophel, Goshen Health president and CEO. “At our facilities, we’ve implemented stricter and more frequent cleaning and disinfecting practices, restricted visitors and required masks to ensure it is safe for our community to access health care. We appreciate the cooperation of our community in doing their part to reduce the numbers in Elkhart County.”

Goshen Health has resumed services with expanded safety and cleaning measures to ensure that health care is accessible for all in a safe environment, the release reads. Plus, they now offer virtual visits to enable people to receive care from the convenience and safety of their homes. People with chronic or other conditions that require monitoring or interventions are encouraged to resume their appointments with their providers, to ensure they are not delaying necessary health care.

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