What is essential travel

SOUTH BEND — After five more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed overnight, South Bend’s and St. Joseph County’s leadership has issued a travel advisory at the watch level. Essential travel only is being allowed.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller, at a press conference Thursday morning, said that out of 126 test results through last night, they now have five positive cases in St. Joseph County, three of which were in contact with the original positive case, plus one other. There are about 500 additional tests for which we still have not received results back yet, he said.

In a statement on the city’s website, Mueller writes:

We are now at a turning point where additional measures are necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the South Bend region. I, along with our County Commissioners, am declaring a local disaster emergency and effective at 2 today, issuing a travel advisory at the watch level, which means essential travel only.

This travel advisory will still allow people to travel for essential reasons, which includes going to and from work, going to the grocery, picking up a prescription, visiting the doctor’s office, dropping your kids off at daycare, picking up food from a restaurant and traveling for emergencies.

But traveling to visit friends or going to other places where people congregate is discouraged.

What’s important right now is that we work to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and by avoiding unnecessary travel you can play your role in protecting the vulnerable members of our community.

Please follow these directions. These measures only work if everyone follows them. We don’t want to enforce travel restrictions, but we will if we have to.

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